As an independent filmmaker and a hula dancer, Lisette Marie Flanary creates documentary films that celebrate a modern renaissance of the hula dance and Hawaiian culture. She is the writer, producer and director of Lehua Films and her first documentary, “AMERICAN ALOHA: Hula Beyond Hawai’i” received a CINE Golden Eagle Award when it aired on the critically acclaimed P.O.V. series on PBS in 2003.
Her award-winning film, “Na Kamalei: The Men of Hula”, featuring legendary Hawaiian master hula teacher and entertainer, Robert Cazimero, screened in numerous film festivals and Lisette received the Hawai’i Filmmaker Award at the Hawai’i International Film Festival in 2006 and the Emerging Director Award at the New York Asian American International Film Festival in 2007. The film also received Best Documentary and Audience Awards at the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival, the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, and the San Diego Asian Film Festival. “Na Kamalei: The Men of Hula” was broadcast nationally on the 2007-2008 Independent Lens series on PBS in May 2008 and it was the winner of the Audience Award for the series.
She recently directed the documentary feature, “ONE VOICE”, which follows the young song directors at the Kamehameha Schools Song Contest. It was nominated for an Emerging Director Award at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific American Film Festival in 2010 and won Audience Awards for Best Documentary at the Hawai’i International Film Festival, the San Diego Asian Film Festival, and the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival in 2011. “ONE VOICE” will be theatrically released in Hawai’i in August 2011 and broadcast nationally on PBS in 2012.
Lisette is currently directing and producing a documentary entitled “Tokyo Hula” which explores the explosive popularity of hula in Japan. It will be the final film in a trilogy of documentaries on the hula dance. Research and development for the project was completed with funding support from the ITVS Diversity Development Fund, Pacific Islanders in Communications, and the Jerome Foundation Travel and Study Grant. Lisette is a graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts in Film and Television Production and received her MFA in Creative Writing at the New School University. Having lived in New York City for over twenty years, Lisette is joining the faculty as an Assistant Professor at the Academy for Creative Media.