MAUNA KEA: Through the Kia’i Lens


Special HIFF Screening Event

The HAWAI’I INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL returns to the Hilo Palace Theater with a wonderfully diverse program of films from all over the world, including our own Island of Hawai’i.

At the core of this year’s Hilo program, is the special screening + panel discussion event: MAUNA KEA: Through the Kia’i Lens.

Free to the public, this special program presented by the Hawai‘i Council for the Humanities presents films that capture the zeitgeist defining the ‘Kapu Aloha’ movement happening on top of Mauna Kea and the fight to block the controversial Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) project from breaking ground. To kia‘i protectors and their supporters, Mauna Kea is sacred land, and TMT is seen as an extension of post-colonial encroachment. To TMT proponents, this is a movement against science and innovation.

This short film program will consist of the following documentary shorts:

STANDING ABOVE THE CLOUDS, directed by Jalena Keane-Lee, follows Native Hawaiian mother-daughter activists at the forefront of the movement to protect their sacred mountain, Mauna Kea, from an eighteen story, Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT).

THIS IS THE WAY WE RISE directed by Ciara Lacy: Award-winning filmmaker (HIFF37’s Best Made in Hawai‘i Film for OUT OF STATE) and Sundance Native Lab fellow. Ciara Lacy’s THIS IS THE WAY WE RISE is an exploration into the creative process, following Dr. Jamaica Heolimeleikalani Osorio as her calling to protect Mauna Kea inspires her work as a poet.

LIKE A MIGHTY WAVE directed by Mikey Inouye: On Wednesday, July 17th 2019, a heavily armed police force arrested 36 Native Hawaiian kūpuna peacefully protecting Mauna Kea from desecration. The actions from that day sparked an international outcry and brought new life to the ongoing movement for Native Hawaiians’ rights for self-determination.

Following the presentation of these films will be a moderated panel discussion exploring the current state of the movement.

While this is a FREE event, please reserve a seat at the Palace Theater Box Office as seating is limited.

MAUNA KEA: THROUGH THE KIA’I LENS will take place Saturday 11/23 at 12:30pm.

Check out the rest of the 2019 HIFF line up HERE and take advantage of the HIFF PASS available now at the Palace Box Office and 808-934-7010.

See you at the movies!