Tadashi Nakamura was named one of CNN’s Young People Who Rock for being the youngest filmmaker at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. His first collaboration with ʻŌiwi TV was the documentary film Jake Shimabukuro: Life on Four Strings (NEA funded) which was broadcasted nationally on PBS in 2013 and went on to win the 2013 Gotham Independent Film Audience Award. Nakamura’s trilogy of films on the Japanese American experience, Yellow Brotherhood (2003), Pilgrimage (2007) and A Song for Ourselves (2009) have garnered over 20 awards at film festivals.
Keoni Lee, in 2009, co-founded the first Native Hawaiian television station, ʻŌiwi TV in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi. ʻŌiwi TV has since produced the largest collection of Hawaiian language television programming and has gained a reputation in the Hawaiian and native television community for authentic and high-quality productions. Keoni has a business background and M.B.A. education but found his calling in production because he saw the potential of creating significant positive impact in his Hawaiian community through the power of media. He has produced documentaries for PBS national broadcast through the Pacific Heartbeat series and has screened at film festivals including the Hawaii International Film Festival and CAAM Fest.
Born and raised on the island of Oʻahu, Justyn Ah Chong is a Native Hawaiian filmmaker seeking to tell unique and culturally rooted stories. Justyn graduated from the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts in 2011 with a B.A. in Film Production and a Minor in Business. Upon graduating, he returned home to Hawaiʻi where he began working as a full-time videographer and editor at ʻŌiwi TV – Hawaiʻi’s first and only indigenous television broadcasting network. There he had the opportunity to craft his skills behind the camera and in the edit bay on numerous mini-documentary projects, news pieces, commercial work and non-profit videos. Through ʻŌiwi TV he’s been blessed to travel the world, sailing with and documenting the Hōkūleʻa’s Worldwide Voyage and has collaborated on several PBS national documentaries, including the Nā Loea series, and Lets Play Music! Slack Key with Cyril Pahinui and Friends. Aside from his work at ʻŌiwi TV, Justyn has been working on his first narrative feature-length film, Wichita, with colleagues from USC and is currently in post-production with the project.
Kamakaniokaʻāina “ʻĀina” Paikai is from Waiau, Oʻahu. He is a Native Hawaiian filmmakers that is interested in bolstering the Hawaiian film industry. He received his bachelors of arts from the University of Hawaiʻi’s Academy for Creative Media. His student short films have screened locally at the Hawaiʻi International Film Festival, nationally at the San Francisco Asian American Film Festival, and internationally at the Shanghai International Film Festival. In 2013 he was chosen as a Sundance Native Fellow, selected for his talent in screen writing. ʻĀina currently works as a photographer and editor for ʻŌiwi TV, the first and only indigenous Hawaiian channel that tells stories from a native point of view.