Firelight Media at the Hawai’i International Film Festival

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Firelight Media is proud to be featured throughout the 2020 Hawai’i International Film Festival!

In addition to presenting a special Pau Hana/Talk Story event, Firelight Media alumni and staff will be featured throughout the Festival via panel discussions and film screenings. The panel discussions are free and open to all; follow the links below for more information.

The Hawai’i International Film Festival’s Film Program includes screenings of Firelight Media Documentary Lab alumni films, including: Bao Nyguen’s BE WATER, Ursula Liang’s DOWN A DARK STAIRWELL, and Cecilia Aldarondo’s LANDFALL, as well as Firelight Media SVP for Programs Loira Limbal’s THROUGH THE NIGHT and Firelight Founder Stanley Nelson’s THE BLACK PANTHERS: VANGUARD OF THE REVOLUTION.

View the complete Film Program here, and see below a complete list of Festival programs featuring the Firelight community.

Firelight is proud to present this special event as part of the festival series The Way Forward: Conversations about Race and Reckoning in Hawai’i.

Hawai’i’s multicultural identity draws many people to its ethnically diverse shores, but institutional racism and colonialism still live on in the islands. In this unique three-day event, participate in conversations centered on films challenging and expanding notions of race and equality in Hawai’i and beyond. These free panels will reflect on the Black Lives Matter movement and other social justice movements as we push toward a more fair, equitable world.

The conversation will include:
Monika Navarro, Firelight Media, Senior Director of Artist Programs, Moderator

Firelight Alumni Panelists:
Ursula Liang, Down A Dark Stairwell
Ciara Lacy, Out of State
Laurie Sumiye, A Paradise Lost

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As part of HIFF’s 2020 Film For Thought Program presented by the Hawai’i Council for the Humanities, join HIFF for a special conversation with Firelight Media Documentary Lab alum Cecilia Aldarondo, director of LANDFALL. Moderated by Mehana Vaughan, Assistant Professor with Natural Resources and Environmental Management University of Hawai’i at Mānoa.

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As part of HIFF’s 2020 Film For Thought Program presented by the Hawai’i Council for the Humanities, join HIFF for a special conversation with Firelight Media’s SVP for Programs Loira Limbal, director of THROUGH THE NIGHT. This humanities-focused discussion will be moderated by Elizabeth Colwill, Associate Professor of American Studies at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa.

As part of HIFF’s 2020 Film For Thought Program presented by the Hawai’i Council for the Humanities, join HIFF for a special conversation with Firelight Media Documentary Lab alum Ursula Liang, director of DOWN A DARK STAIRWELL. This humanities focused discussion will be moderated by University of Hawai’i at Mānoa English professor Danielle Seid.

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Stories about Black Lives are vital to inspire social change. For this panel, HIFF looks at how films about Black-led social movements impacted the narrative of race and equality in America. Featuring Stanley Nelson, a trailblazing documentary filmmaker, Firelight Media co-founder, and MacArthur “genius” Fellow; Nailah Jefferson, Firelight Media Documentary Lab alum; and others TBD, the panelists will discuss themes of cultural resistance, collective action, and the power of nonfiction media. We also delve into the reverberations of Stanley’s Nelson work including the documentary The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, inspiring the next generation of filmmakers and activists.

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A reckoning in Hollywood demands for more representation of Asian, Latinx, Indigenous, and Black roles on screen and behind the camera in narrative and documentary media. Hawai’i is touted as a mixed plate of cultures, boasting the highest number of people identifying as “mixed race.” What is the liminal space hapa and multiethnic filmmakers occupy for multiracial characters and stories? How are those identities represented and what is their place in the larger discussion of diversity in media? This panel features Firelight Media Documentary Lab alum Ursula Liang, along with moderator Dr. Ethan Caldwell, UHM African American Ethnic Studies Professor and panelists Susan Soon He Stanton, Narrative Filmmaker & Playwright; and Alika Maikau, narrative filmmaker.

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Many working families struggle with child and elder care, which has become even more daunting for Black, Latinx, and Indigenous communities because of Covid-19. In Hawai’i, Pacific Islander communities have been especially hit hard by the pandemic. How have Polynesian communities built resilience in caregiving through their culture? How have Black and Latinx communities in New York City nurtured resilience in caregiving? What other health issues have become racialized in a pressure cooker environment of survival and security? This panel features Firelight Media SVP for Programs Loira Limbal, Auntie Twinkle Borge, Pu’uhonua o Waianae leader, community activist; and Puanani Kama, Director of Hānaiaulu Childcare Center, Hawaiian immersion childcare.

November 27, 2020 will be Bruce Lee’s 80th birthday. To commemorate this momentous occasion, a group of the largest Asian American film and culture organizations is proud to present a free screening of BE WATER, including a live drive-in screening of the film in Bruce Lee’s birthplace San Francisco.

This to be followed by a live-streamed panel with director and Firelight Media Documentary Lab alum Bao Nguyen, Bruce Lee’s daughter Shannon Lee, culture writer Phil Yu (Angry Asian Man), celebrity chef and ‘Ugly Delicious’ host Dave Chang, and some surprise guests. They will chat about the film and the legacy of the Asian American icon, who almost five decades later, is still as popular than ever and inspiring a new generation. The event is not just an examination of the experiences of Asians and their flight for inclusion and representation but also a chance to support arts organizations who were deeply affected by the pandemic and showcase how they have paved way for the future generation of BIPOC artists and storytellers.

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For a complete listing of Hawai’i International Film Festival programs, visit: hiff.org/hiff40.

For more about Firelight Media and its programs, visit firelightmedia.tv.

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Firelight Media is dedicated to supporting documentary filmmakers of color and cultivating audiences for their work. We’re #changingthestory.

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