Haunani Kalama, NECESSITY Associate Producer

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"I believe the ability to build bridges between seemingly widely diverse groups of people is strengthened with the deep understanding of aloha – mutual respect, shared reverence for life, and compassionate truth."

Haunani serves as Associate Producer for the NECESSITY series and her primary work has been in securing grants, restructuring budgets, providing strategic oversight and helping to design an educational impact campaign as Senior Strategist. Educated in global health, business administration, disaster response, and environmental justice, she has spent the last 30 years advocating for health equity, and nature conservation, with the most recent effort on climate change mitigation and indigenous governance.

Apprenticed in Native Hawaiian healing traditions, including the use of plants, sea life and minerals to make medicine, Haunani has seen radical change first hand in her homeland from the summit of the mountains to eroding shorelines – medicines are becoming more difficult to find. Some of her work helps to restore sacred sites, preserve native plant and wildlife habitat, and to replant native forests as part of her commitment to the community, where caring for the spirit of the land is of equal importance in achieving wellness as is the medicine it provides.

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Medicine Plants from Mountain to Sea

Some of that effort has been to bring healing through various forms of Art, including film, working through emotion and trauma while telling one’s story in the process, yet honoring the ‘sacred space’ that one needs to heal.

“Documentaries with a justice theme – climate, social, environmental – that embrace the principle of participatory filmmaking have had a stronger impact on me. We look to measure if this is the same for those who watch our films. Audiences repeatedly comment on the impact of hearing the films’ subjects speak about their experiences first hand, with words and emotions that resonate. I like to call that ‘staying power,’ that which sits with you for a while.” 

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Protect and Restore the Sacred

“Caring for life around you is fundamental to being part of an ohana (family) and helping to protect these ecologies helps us all to survive and thrive. If working on films on climate justice helps to alert us that action is needed now to minimize life-threatening change, then this is the right path.

If we help to build a sense of shared responsibility in the process, that would be even better.  Everyone can change something about how they live, what they waste and how they move about.  The task may appear to be daunting, but it can be done.” 

 "Our elders say, look towards the future, be guided by the past, yet stay engaged in the present."

"Our young have shown their willingness to make this effort – shouldn’t we join them?"

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“NECESSITY is a story of people taking action, inspiring hope in the face of mounting despair. It is a story of finding healing by doing.”