Director / Producer / Animator
Laurie is a Hawaii-born environmental documentary artist who investigates tensions between humans and nature. She has exhibited her art in New York, Los Angeles, Hawaii and internationally, in the UK, South Africa and Brazil and shown her award-winning films at DOC NYC, BAMcinemaFest and PS1MoMA. She was selected for the Firelight Media Lab Fellowship and Uniondocs Collaborative Fellowship, and several international artist residencies. She has an MFA in Integrated Media Arts from CUNY Hunter College, BA & BS in Art and Communications from Bradley University, and studied art at Lorenzo De’ Medici in Florence and Pratt Institute in NY. Laurie is an Assistant Professor at University of Hawaiʻi-West Oʻahu Academy for Creative Media.
GEETA V. PATEL
Writer/director Geeta’s first film PROJECT KASHMIR, was funded by ITVS and Sundance, and was chosen for three Sundance Institute Labs and the Tribeca Institute TAA program. Her second film, MEET THE PATELS, was produced by PBS and Impact Partners and funded by ITVS, Impact Partners, Tribeca, Chicken and Egg, CAAM (and more). The film premiered on Independent Lens in 2014, won several awards, and enjoyed a successful theatrical run grossing over $1 million. Fox Searchlight Films purchased rights to remake MEET THE PATELS into a feature film with Geeta on-board to write and co-direct.
DOUGLAS W. PETERSON
Douglas is born and raised in NY, and has been in the film and event space for the last few years, including running sponsorships for the New York Asian Film Festival and London’s The Fashion Awards. He previously worked for United Entertainment Group’s experiential marketing team, and is passionate about supporting diversity in independent film and environmental issues.
Director of Photography
Anne is an award-winning Director of Photography of narrative and documentary film for over 25 years based in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi. Her recent work on TREELESS MOUNTAIN and MARGARITA WITH A STRAW screened at the Toronto International Film Festival, BFI Film Festival and Tribeca Film Festival and won several awards. Her directorial debut, WAKING MELE, screened at Sundance Film Festival. She holds a BA in English from the University of Hawaiʻi and an MFA from USC with an emphasis in Directing and Cinematography. Anne is an Associate Professor at University of Hawai’i – Mānoa Academy for Creative Media.
From Antarctica to the tropical Pacific, Paul has filmed the world’s cultures and wildlife for National Geographic, for the BBC including such acclaimed series as PLANET EARTH and TRIALS OF LIFE, and for IMAX screens. His cinematography and directing have earned numerous awards including Emmys, British Academy Awards and a prestigious Telluride Film Festival Tribute. As cinematographer in feature films, Paul has collaborated with the most respected and innovative directors in the business; Peter Weir’s MASTER AND COMMANDER, which won the 2004 Academy Award for cinematography and Terrence Malick’s THE TREE OF LIFE, TO THE WONDER, KNIGHT OF CUPS and THE VOYAGE OF TIME.
Satoko is an editor who has worked on hundreds of projects in both documentary film and television. Her work has screened globally and been broadcast on Showtime, PBS, NBC, ABC, FOX, Discovery, TLC, The History Channel, National Geographic, MTV, MSNBC, Nickelodeon, and ESPN. Satoko, a native of Japan, has traveled around the world and lived in six different cities on three continents. She received her BA in Communications from the University of California, San Diego and an MFA in Integrated Media Arts from CUNY Hunter College.
Austin is a Creative Producer and Co-Founder of WEREHAUS, an independent creative production company based in San Francisco, California and Brooklyn, New York. He obtained his B.A in 2005 from the University of California, Irvine in Social Ecology (Environmental Analysis & Design and Criminology). After a 10-year career in San Francisco working with global brands and advertising agencies, he immigrated to Kailua-Kona, Hawaii in 2016, to continue his studies in surfing, land-based learning, and hunting for abandoned vehicles on roadways.
Shirley is a 30+ year, Emmy-award winning veteran documentary editor and story consultant based in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi. She is best known for the PBS documentaries she has edited; KŪ KANAKA (2016), WINNING GIRL (2014), and PIDGIN: THE VOICE OF HAWAI‘I (2008). Shirley recently edited and co-produced FINDING KUKAN, a feature documentary which screened at DOCNYC and CAAMfest and won the Documentary Audience Award at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival.
Thomas is a contemporary composer fascinated by both Western and non-Western music who has lived in Honolulu since 2006. His music has been performed by such notable American ensembles and performers as the American Composers Orchestra, the Pacific Symphony, the T’ang Quartet. He has received awards from BMI and was named the 2013 Distinguished Composer of the Year by the Music Teachers National Association. He has received degrees from Indiana University, Rice University and the University of Southern California. He is a Professor of Composition and Theory at University of Hawai‘i – Mānoa.
Vera Zambonelli is a producer, filmmaker, and feminist activist. Vera co-produced Reel Wāhine of Hawaiʻi, a series of documentaries about the history and accomplishments of Hawaiʻi women filmmakers, distributed by Alexander Street Press. Thanks to a recent NEA grant, Vera co-produced Season II of Reel Wāhine of Hawaiʻi. Vera is Founder and Executive Director of Hawaiʻi Women in Filmmaking, a nonprofit feminist organization committed to achieving gender equity in filmmaking, and teaches at University of Hawaiʻi-West Oʻahu Academy for Creative Media.
Penny is an award-winning nonfiction filmmaker who was named one of Filmmaker Magazine‘s “25 New Faces of Independent Film” and a Chicken & Egg Breakthrough Award winner for the films OUR NIXON and NUTS! She received a BA in American Culture and Media Studies at Vassar College in 2001 and an MFA in Integrated Electronic Arts at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2005. Her most recent feature-length documentary HAIL SATAN? recently debuted at Sundance and will be released by Magnolia Pictures in 2019.
Kelly is an award-winning independent producer and director of documentary films, and recipient of the George C. Stoney Award for Outstanding Documentary. She has received fellowships from the Rockefeller Foundation, the American Film Institute (NEA), and the New York State Council on the Arts. Her notable films include MY BROOKLYN, NEVER ENOUGH, EVERY MOTHER’S SON. She is a Professor of Documentary Production at CUNY Hunter College in New York City.
Brittany is an award-winning animator, artist and independent filmmaker based in Hawai’i. As a Previs Artist and Animation Technical Assistant at DreamWorks Animation, her feature film credits include TROLLS, KUNG FU PANDA 3, and KUNG FU PANDA 2. Her short animated films, such as A TALL TALE, have screened in film festivals including the prestigious Annecy International Animation Film Festival and Los Angeles Women’s International Film Festival. She is a an Assistant Professor of Animation at University of Hawaiʻi-Mānoa Academy for Creative Media.
Robert Pennybacker has worked in television industry for more than thirty years, and written, directed and produced numerous TV documentaries. Robert signed on as PBS Hawai’i’s Vice President of Creative Services in September of 2007 and is now PBS Hawai’i’s Director of Learning Initiatives. Robert has been a co-executive producer PBS documentaries which received wide distribution, including PATSY MINK: AHEAD OF THE MAJORITY and E HAKU INOA: TO WEAVE A NAME. He was also a co-creator of the Pacific Islanders in Communications/PBS series Pacific Heartbeat.
DR. SAMUEL M.‘OHUKANI‘ŌHI‘A GON, III
Dr. Gon is a highly respected biologist and Hawaiian cultural practitioner. Sam serves as Senior Scientist and Cultural Advisor for The Nature Conservancy of Hawai‘i. Sam has more than 35 years of experience in Hawaiian ecology and extensive knowledge of Hawaiian culture, history, language, chant, and dance. Sam studied ‘oli (traditional Hawaiian chant) and hula with Kumu John Keolamaka‘āinana Lake, a master of Hawaiian religion and cultural protocols. He underwent the traditional Hawaiian ‘uniki rites of passage to attain the status of kahuna kākalaleo.