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AIKĀNE

A valiant island warrior, wounded in battle against foreign invaders, falls into a mysterious underwater world.




Director and animator Daniel Sousa is an Oscar-nominated animation director who uses the themes embedded in myths and legends to examine archetypes of human nature. Born on Cape Verde, he approaches filmmaking from a painter’s perspective, focusing on the fragility of fleeting moments, memories and perceptions. His work includes Feral, which premiered at Sundance and was nominated for best animated short film at the 86th Academy Award, Fable, which won awards at festivals around the world, and Native Stories, nationally broadcast on PBS. Sousa has taught at the Rhode Island School of Design, Harvard University, The Museum School, The Art Institute of Boston and the Animation Workshop in Denmark.

Director and writer Dean Hamer is a New York Times Book of the Year author and Emmy Award-winning filmmaker dedicated to telling stories that emanate from the voices of those on the outside. His documentaries and animated films with Qwaves creative partner and husband Joe Wilson have screened and won awards at Toronto, Tribeca, Berlin, and Annecy, and have been viewed by millions of people on PBS, Netflix, and international broadcast networks. Kapaemahu, Dean and Joe’s previous collaboration with Daniel Sousa and Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu, was shortlisted for Best Animated Short at the 93rd Academy Awards. It was subsequently developed into a children’s book, feature documentary, and immersive museum exhibition.

Director and producer Joe Wilson, an Emmy and GLAAD Award-winning filmmaker and longtime human rights activist, helped pioneer the movement to use film and media to catalyze community engagement, dialogue and action on a range of often overlooked issues. From LGBTQ equality in small town America to gender diversity in public schools, from cultural erasure in Hawai'i to the criminalization of sexual and gender minorities in the Pacific Islands, Wilson’s Qwaves impact campaigns have helped to elevate and center the stories of affected communities in movements for change and have been supported by the Sundance Institute, Ford Foundation, Pacific Islanders in Communications, ACLU, and Native Hawaiian Education Council.

Producer Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu is a Native Hawaiian teacher, cultural practitioner, composer and filmmaker who uses digital media to protect and perpetuate indigenous stories and traditions. Her work has earned a National Education Association Human Rights Award, Native Hawaiian Educator of the year, and White House Champion of Change, and her composition “Ku Haaheo E Kuu Hawaii” is the internationally-known anthem for the protection of Mauna Kea. This is her seventh project with the Qwaves/Kanaka Pakipika team.

Executive producer Judith Light is a multiple Tony and Emmy award-winning actress, producer, and advocate. She is known for her extensive body of television, film, and stage work, for which she recently received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Currently seen in HBO Max’s Julia, STARZ’s Shining Vale, and the new Searchlight Pictures feature The Menu, Light is beloved for the pivotal roles she has portrayed in work that has helped to advance LGBTQ visibility and acceptance including The Ryan White Story, Save Me, The Politician, and Transparent - Amazon Prime’s blockbuster series that helped bring mainstream attention to the transgender community and for which she received a Golden Globe and multiple Emmy and Critics’ Choice nomination.


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