Kuleana translates to "right, privilege, concern, responsibility and portion," among other meanings. For Native Hawaiians, though, the word becomes much more active than English translates: It is a value, a way of thinking.
"Kuleana," a collection of short films set to screen at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center, will illuminate topics that impact the Hawaiian community. Created by the organization 4 Miles LLC, in partnership with Kamehameha Publishing Kumukahi Project and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, "Kuleana" is the first screening of Heritage Film Festival, an annual film series conceived by MACC cultural director and kumu hula Hokulani Holt.
The films are each about 10 minutes long; the approximately hourlong screening will be followed by a talk-story session with the film's producer and filmmaker.
"These shorts are to show us where we are now, and why it's important to remember that we have kuleana to iwi kupuna, to the aina under stress, to cultural revitalization," Holt said. "It's not something that's going to go away. Kuleana is forever."
4 Miles LLC has a mission to promote a better global understanding of the people and practices that make Hawaii unique, as well as to encourage the protection and perpetuation of Hawaii's resources. The selected films will highlight work being done by many in the community to ensure that laws are being followed to protect iwi kupuna, precious resources, sacred sites and traditional/customary rights, among other issues.
Holt said that Heritage Film Festival isn't solely for Native Hawaiians, but for all of Hawaii's people.
Heritage Film Festival illuminates topics that impact Native Hawaiians, as well as Hawaii's community at large. "I find that our (Heritage Film Festival) audiences come with a very open mind for the most part, wanting and willing to be brought into the conversation," she said. "I look forward to that kind of audience again."
Tickets to the screening and talk-story session are $10. To purchase, visit www.mauiarts.org or call 242-7469.
- Kehaulani Cerizo