ʻUluʻulu is Hawaiʻi’s official state archive for moving images. Located on the University of Hawaiʻi – West Oʻahu campus, the archive is dedicated to the care, preservation, and digitization of film and videotape related to the history and culture of Hawaiʻi. The archive’s mission via preservation is to honor the past and ensure their availability for future generations.
Every year, we host a free screening and a panel discussion programmed by the ʻUluʻulu team. Because of the pandemic, HIFF has pivoted to move this event online, but also saw an opportunity to expand its scope to present the powerful and resonant work of the archive on a global stage. ʻUluʻulu’s program this year, in concert with the Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS), will be presenting a new one-hour documentary, a film retrospective, and perhaps, its most high-profile panel discussion.
Hōkūleʻa is a performance-accurate waʻa kaulua, a Polynesian double-hulled voyaging canoe that was launched in 1975 by the PVS during the height of the Hawaiian Renaissance. Arguably, the Hōkūleʻa is the most filmed subject and symbol in Hawaiian media.
HE WA’A, HE HŌNUA — THE EARTH IS OUR CANOE is a new one-hour documentary that pays tribute to the sweeping cultural renaissance that began in the 1970s and will continue with the environmental revitalization lead by Hōkūleʻa and her upcoming 44-month circumnavigation of the Pacific (the Pacific Sail). Footage from previous films are culled together, as well as new interviews with the filmmakers and crews who produced these relevant works.
Here are the Hōkūleʻa films that are part of this retrospective and will be available to stream from November 16-29:
- HŌKŪLE’A, STAR OF GLADNESS (1975) directed by Tip Davis
- HŌKŪLEʻA: RETURN TO TAHITI (1980) directed by Don Kozono
- HŌKŪLEʻA: THE PROUD VOYAGE HOME (1987) directed by Elisa Yadao
- MOANANUIAKEA: ONE OCEAN, ONE PEOPLE, ONE CANOE (2018) directed by Na‘alehu Anthony
- HE WA’A, HE HŌNUA — THE EARTH IS OUR CANOE (2020)
Then, mark your calendars for November 20, 7:00pm for a live, online discussion entitled POLYNESIAN VOYAGING SOCIETY: VISIONS OF HOKULEʻA.
PVS and ʻUluʻulu will moderate this free online panel with special guests including members of PVS and the filmmakers who produced these works as they trade stories on the successes and setbacks in the making of their films, their cultural impact in building a Kānaka Maoli film ecosystem and a look into the future legacy of the community.
Governor John Waihee (retired) – Delegate, 1978 State of Hawaiʻi Constitutional Convention
Dr. Emmett Aluli – Protect Kahoʻolawe ʻOhana
Walter Ritte – Protect Kahoʻolawe ʻOhana, Office of Hawaiian Affairs Inaugural Board
Nainoa Thompson – Pwo Navigator, President, Polynesian Voyaging Society
Bruce Blankenfeld – Pwo Navigator, Polynesian Voyaging Society
Pomai Bertelmann – Captain, Polynesian Voyaging Society, President, Nā Kālai Waʻa
Kaʻiulani Murphy – Navigator, Polynesian Voyaging Society, Kumu Hoʻokele, Honolulu Community College
Larry Kimura – Founder ʻAha Pūnana Leo, associate professor Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelikōlani/College of Hawaiian Language, UH Hilo
Denise Espania – Head of School, Mālama Honua Public Charter School
Moderated by Elisa Yadao
Elisa Yadao has a long and rich association with the Polynesian Voyaging Society. She currently serves as a volunteer but is also a past executive director and sailed aboard Hōkūleʻa in 1987 as part of the Voyage of Rediscovery.
Her career in media and communications spans 4 decades and includes work as a journalist and communications executive in government, politics and healthcare.