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Joy: When I Am My Ancestors

“When I was my ancestors, I survived war, infections, and imprisonment. Now I am me, and I can and will survive all this colonial government can throw at me. So when I am my mokopuna, I will thrive on my own sovereign land.” —Tina Ngata (Ngāti Porou)

Continuing PAAFF’s tradition of partnering with Pacific Islanders in Communications (PIC) to offer a special program spotlighting Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander filmmaking talent. This year’s shorts program centers on the Pacific community’s power to find joy, healing, love, and resistance in themselves and one another.

This film program is available internationally.

Q&A LIVE on 11/7 at 7:00 P.M. EST

In this program


Directed by Pascale & Julien Marckt

“Let the beat into your body / Let the mana flow right into you.” “Homai” is Vaiteani’s celebration of the universal power of rhythm.


Directed by Becs Arahanga

The story of one young woman’s rite of passage as she steps into her destiny.

Tā Moko – Behind the Tattooed Face

Directed by Mick Andrews and David Atkinson

Maori face tattooing is a tradition that almost died out through colonization. Bernard and Sapphire show their passion to see Maori communities heal by receiving face tattoos of their own.

Ka Piko

Directed by Bryson Chun

When his girlfriend dies during childbirth, Makana, a young Hawaiian man, must complete an indigenous birthing ritual with his girlfriend’s overbearing father.

Standing Above the Clouds

Directed by Jalena Keane-Lee

Standing Above the Clouds follows Native Hawaiian mother-daughter activists as they stand to protect their sacred mountain Mauna Kea from the building of the world’s largest telescope.

Cancel RIMPAC: A Collective Poem

Directed by Michael Inouye

Thirteen indigenous poets from Oceania—from Hawaiʻi, Aotearoa, and Guahan—came together to write and record a poem calling for the Cancellation of RIMPAC and for the restoration of ea: life, breath, and sovereignty.