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OHA’s Mana I Mauli Ola film wins a Telly Award

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PC: Office of Hawaiian Affairs

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs’ Mana i Mauli Ola short film has won a Telly Award. The 25-minute film features stories and perspectives from the Native Hawaiian community tied to the framework of OHA’s 2020-2035 Mana i Mauli Ola (Strength to Wellbeing) Strategic Plan. 

The filmmaking collaborative included Gepadeaux in association with a team of professionals from OHA’s Communications Department led by Director Alice Silbanuz who produced the film, and Lead Editor and Videographer Jason Lees. 

Additionally, Native Hawaiian talent was recruited for the film including director Pākē Salmon of Waiʻanae, Hawaiʻi island artist Nelson Makua, musicians Jeff Rasmussen, Kamoa and Leimaile Quitevis and chanter Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu. 

The Telly Awards is considered the largest award for video in the world and received over 12,000 entries this year from all 50 states and five continents. Founded in 1979 to honor commercials made for cable and local TV, the Telly Awards have evolved over the years to reflect an expanding television and video universe, adding new categories honoring social media, immersive video, branded content, and corporate video.  

The Mana i Mauli Ola film earned a Silver Telly in the Social Video – Social Impact category. Winning video submissions in this category shed light on a variety of social justice topics such as human trafficking, homelessness, and racism.  


“Part of what makes this film special is the platform it has provided for Native Hawaiian voices and talents,” said Native Hawaiian film director Pākē Salmon. “It’s an honor to receive this recognition and have the opportunity to share kānaka perspectives with the world via this film.” 


OHA’s film features OHA leadership alongside community leaders sharing their manaʻo (perspectives) on how connections to traditional strengths of ‘ohana (family), moʻomeheu (culture) and ‘āina (land) can be utilized to create greater wellbeing in the areas of education, health, housing and economic stability. This concept serves as the framework for OHA’s strategic plan and guides its work to better the conditions of Native Hawaiians.  

“The collaborative storytelling and filmmaking processes brought together a complementary combination of talented people who all feel passionately about their work,” OHA Board Chair Carmen “Hulu” Lindsey said. “Similarly, the way we create positive change in the lives of Native Hawaiians will need to be a collaborative process involving OHA, other government entities, partners, resource providers, community members, and other talented people with a passion to do good for our community.”  

For a weekly listing of Maui music and other events, go to Maui Entertainment, Arts, Community, May 26-June 1 and click here.

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