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Panelist one stage after film

The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa partnered up with the Doris Duke Theatre at the Honolulu Museum of Art (HOMA) for the inaugural Sustainability Film Series that runs from September to December with three events.

Organized by UH Mānoa’s Institute for Sustainability and Resilience, the School of Cinematic Arts, Environmental Humanities and the Doris Duke Theatre, the series features scientists, policymakers, nonprofit experts and artists that share their exploration and solutions with issues facing human and natural environments.

It kicked off September 22 and featured the 2018 film The Rights of Nature: a Global Movement directed by Isaac Goeckeritz, María Valeria Berro and Hal Crimmel.

People in a theatre

“The reason we created this series is to build community connectivity around critical sustainability issues faced by Hawaiʻi and the world. Each event includes a discussion about how community members can get involved,” said Ketty Loeb of the UH Mānoa’s Institute for Sustainability and Resilience. “The first event, which focused on the rights of nature movement, was a big success—the Doris Duke Theatre sold out, and we had a really exciting and thought provoking panel discussion.”

A panel composed of Native Hawaiian philosopher and Konohiki for Kūlana o Kapolei professor Manulani Aluli Meyer, director of the Ka Huli Ao Center for Excellence in Native Hawaiian Law Kapuaʻala Sproat and managing attorney in the Mid-Pacific regional office of EarthJustice Isaac Morikawe were in attendance after the showing of the film.

The second event of the film series will take place on October 21 and is open for registration. Food sustainability and climate change will be the main focus and feature two locally produced films, Kumu Niu directed by Alex Cantatore and Roots of ʻUlu directed by John Atonelli, as well as a brand new animated short film titled Amplifying Feedback Loop, Directed by Vanessa Sweet.

These films will be discussed by panelists Papaliʻi Tusi Avegaio, who is a retired director of the UH Pacific Business Center Program and coconut and breadfruit activist; Indrajit Gunasekara of Niu Now!; Cheryse Kaui San, General Manager of MAʻO Organic Farms; and Assistant Professor Subhashni Raj from UH Department of Urban and Regional planning. Vilsoni Hereniko from the UH Mānoa School of Cinematic Arts will moderate this panel.

“As a participant in the U.S. Botanic Garden’s Plants and Climate Change Education peer learning group (PLACCE), one of our objectives is to provide opportunities for the general public to learn about climate change and its effects on our native plants and culturally important plants in Hawaiʻi,” said Raedelle Van Fossen, the UH Mānoa Lyon Arboretum education manager. Lyon Arboretum and the US Botanic Gardenʻs PLACCE program are co-sponsors for the series.

The last event will take place on December 1 with a focus on the impact of sea levels rising in the Pacific and feature Anote’s Ark and Rise: From One Island to Another.

A panel discussion including Rise director Dan Lin, Tammy Tabe from Oceana Research Fellow at the East-West Center, Tarawa Taubo a former senior registrar at the Kirabati Judiciary, and Alexander Yee, a Coastal and Water Program Manager at the City & County of Honolulu’s Office of Climate Change, Sustainability and Resilience.

The series is free of charge thanks to sponsorship from The Better Tomorrow Speaker Series, Lyon Arboretum, the U.S. Botanic Garden through the PLACCE peer learning group,Pacific Islands Development Program at the East-West Center, and the Scholars Strategy Network.

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