Makana o ke Mele (Gift of Song)
Work In Progress

Makana o ke Mele (Gift of Song) transports audiences into a memory of Native Hawaiian conservationist Mili Browning, who was exposed to nature through an innovative Hawaiian outreach program, ʻImi Pono no ka ʻĀina. On the Big Island of Hawaii, she remembers learning the songs of Hawaiian birds at Hakalau Forest, a wildlife refuge on Mauna Kea volcano.

Laurie Sumiye

Laurie Sumiye is an artist and filmmaker whose work about Hawaiian species explores the interconnectedness of nature, place, and humans. She has exhibited in New York, Los Angeles, UK, Brazil and S. Africa, and screened her award-winning films at DOCNYC, BAMcinemaFest and PS1MoMA. Laurie was awarded residencies/fellowships with Sundance Institute, Firelight, Blue Mountain Center, Digital Artist Studios (N. Ireland), Sacatar Institute (Brazil). Laurie received an MFA in Integrated Media Arts from CUNY Hunter College, BA in Art & BS in Communications from Bradley University. Laurie is an Assistant Professor at University of Hawai’i – West Oahu Academy for Creative Media.

Anne Misawa

Anne Misawa 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.

Tori Gallacher

Tori Gallacher is a graduate from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada with a major in Environment and Sustainability and a minor in Economics, and was previously a director of a nonprofit organization called Kite Vancouver. After traveling and working abroad, Tori is excited to give back to her community while pursuing a future in environmental law.