Who We Are

Na Maka o ka Aina, Hawaiian filmmakers, Hawaii filmmakers, Hawaii documentaries, Hawaii cultural programs, Hawaii educational programs

Joan Lander & Puhipau


We are Joan Lander and Puhipau (1937-2016) of Nā Maka o ka ‘Āina (“The Eyes of the Land”), an independent video production team that, since 1981, has focused on the land and people of Hawai‘i and the Pacific.

We exist to document and give voice and face to traditional and contemporary Hawaiian culture, history, language, art, music, environment and the politics of independence and sovereignty. Our over 100 documentary and educational programs have been seen on PBS, Hawai‘i public and commercial television stations, public access cable channels, and broadcast/cable networks in Canada, Aotearoa (New Zealand), Japan, Mexico and Europe.

Our award-winning productions have been used by teachers and scholars in classrooms in Hawai‘i and throughout the world, and our iconic footage of the Hawaiian sovereignty movement has been featured in numerous documentaries by other producers.

Our list of major documentaries include:

Act of War – The Overthrow of the Hawaiian Nation
Mauna Kea – Temple Under Siege
PIKO – A Gathering of Indigenous Artists
Mālama Hāloa – Protecting the Taro
Stolen Waters
The Tribunal
Kaho‘olawe Aloha Āina
Ahupua‘a, Fishponds and Lo‘i
E Ola Ka ‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i  (May the Hawaiian Language Live)
Islands at Risk – Genetic Engineering in Hawai‘i
Mākua – To Heal the Nation
Kalo Pa‘a o Waiāhole – Hard Taro of Waiāhole
Faces of the Nation
Pele’s Appeal
Kapu Ka‘ū
Mākua Homecoming
The Caretakers of Ka Lae

Most have aired on broadcast television in Hawai‘i. In addition, Mauna Kea – Temple Under Siege, Act of War, Stolen Waters, Pele’s Appeal and Mākua Homecoming were broadcast on PBS stations throughout the U.S.
National Film Registry
Mauna Kea – Temple Under Siege has been named to the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress. The film was among 25 added to the registry in 2020 as “America’s most influential films.”


Silver Maile Award • Hawai‘i International Film Festival
Special Jury Award, Hawai‘i International Film Festival
Silver Award • Corporation for Public Broadcasting
Hawai‘i Filmmakers Award, documentary category • Hawai‘i International Film Festival
Documentary award • Berkeley Video & Film Festival
Best Documentary Under 30 Minutes • Dreamspeakers • Alberta, Canada
Best Global Indigenous Award • Dreamspeakers • Alberta, Canada
Best of Festival, documentary • Berkeley Video & Film Festival
Best Political Film of the 1990 Hawai’i International Film Festival • Political Film Society
CINE Golden Eagle
We Are Sovereign award • Two Rivers Native Film and Video Festival • Minneapolis
New Visionary Award, Mother Earth/Father Sky category • Two Rivers Native Film & Video Festival • Minneapolis
Bronze Plaque • Columbus International Film Festival
Winner, Farming, Pesticides and Soil category • Earthvision Int. Environmental Video Festival • Santa Cruz


Nomination: Golden Maile Award • Hawai‘i International Film Festival
Honorable Mention: Documentary Category • Hawai‘i International Film Festival
Nomination: Inuwuk Award, Best Global Indigenous category • Dreamspeakers • Alberta, Canada
Nomination: Best Cinematography • Dreamspeakers • Alberta, Canada
Honorable Mention • Earthvision International Environmental Video Festival • Santa Cruz
Finalist • EarthVision ’98 • Santa Cruz
Nomination: Best Global Indigenous category • Dreamspeakers • Alberta, Canada
Nomination: Alanis Obomsawin cateogry • Dreamspeakers • Alberta, Canada


PBS Hawai‘i
Aboriginal Peoples Television Network • Canada
Maori Television • Aotearoa (New Zealand)
KHON-TV • Honolulu
KFVE • Honolulu
KGMB • Honolulu
Public access channels, Hawai‘i – ‘Ōlelo; Nā Leo o Hawai‘i; Akakū; Hō‘ike
‘Ōiwi TV • Hawai‘i
First Americans Network
Free Speech TV
Community Channel • Sydney, Australia
Televise • Samoa
TV Stop • Denmark
CityTV • Santa Monica


‘Ōiwi Film Festival • Honolulu Academy of Arts
American Film Institute video festival • Los Angeles
Aotearoa Film Festival • New Zealand
Arizona International Film Festival
Asian American Film Festival • Washington, D.C.
Berkeley Video & Film Festival
Berlin International Film Festival • Germany
Best of the Hawai’i International Film Festival tour
Beyond Sustainability • Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park
Black International Cinema • Chicago, New York, Berlin
Brisbane International Film Festival • Australia
Cinema Paradise • Honolulu
Davis Film Festival • California
Diet for a Small Island Film Series • Honolulu
Earth Summit • Brazil
East Maui Taro Festival
Especially for Kids, National Museum of the American Indian • Washington, D.C.
Festival du Film d’Amiens • France
Festival International du Nouveau Cinema e de la Video de Montreal
Festival of the Dreaming • Sydney
FIFO – Festival Du Film Oceanien • Tahiti
Fifth Festival of Pacific Arts • Australia
First Nations Film & Video Festival • Chicago
GAFFERS Film Festival (Global Art Film Festival) • Sacramento
Global Green Indigenous Film Festival • Santa Fe
Hawai‘i Film Hō‘ike • Hilo, Hawai‘i
Hawai‘i International Film Festival
Human Rights Film Festival • Fiji
IMAGeNATION, Aboriginal Film & Video Festival • Vancouver
ImagineNATIVE • Toronto
International Society of Ethnobiology
International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs • Sweden
Kahilu Theatre • Waimea, Hawai‘i
Kanu Hawai‘i Eat Local Campaign • Kaua‘i
Kennedy Center • Washington D.C.
Kumu Kahua Theatre • Honolulu
Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film & Video Festival
Lund Film Festival • Sweden
Margaret Mead Film Festival • New York
Maui Film Festival
Media study collection, National Museum of the American Indian
Museum Für Völkerkunde • Berlin
National Geographic’s All Roads Film Festival • NYC, Santa Fe, Los Angeles
National Museum • Copenhagen
National Museum of the American Indian • NYC, Washington, D.C.
Native American Film & Video Festival, National Museum of the American Indian • NYC
Native Americas International Film Exposition • Santa Fe
Native Spirit Festival • London
New Pacific Film Forum • Berlin
North American Association for Environmental Education Environmental Film Festival
Other America Film Festival • San Antonio
Pacific Island Images Film Festival • Hawai‘i
Pacific Islanders in Communications • 1994 Asia Pacific Film Tour
Pacific Islands Taro Festival • Hawai‘i
Pacific Rim Film Festival • Santa Cruz, California
Pasifika • NYC
Physicians for Social Responsibility conference • Moscow
Rainbow Film Festival • Oregon
Roshd International Film Festival • Iran
San Francisco Asian American International Film Festival
San Francisco International Film Festival
Seattle Human Rights Film Festival
Shades of Power Festival 2001 • San Francisco
Smithsonian Institute • Washington, D.C.
South Seas Cinema Fest • Hawai‘i
Spoleto Fringe Festival • Australia
The Asia Society • New York City
Two Rivers Native Film and Video Festival • Minneapolis
United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues • NYC
United Nations Working Group on Indigenous Peoples • Geneva, Switzerland
Vancouver International Film Festival
Vermont International Film Festival
Video America Indigena (Video Native America) • Mexico
Videoscape, Asian Cinevision • New York City
Wellington Film Festival
Winnipeg Aboriginal Film & Video Festival • Canada
World Community Film Festival • Vancouver
World Islands Film Festival • Jeju island, Korea
WYNC Human Rights Film Festival • New York
Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival • Japan


Hawai‘i House of Representatives
honoring Nā Maka o ka ‘Āina, on the occasion of the screening of Act of War at the Berlin Film Festival, for bringing national and international recognition and understanding to issues of vital importance to Hawai‘i.
Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs
commending Nā Maka o ka ‘Āina for their perseverance and contributions to the Hawaiian people
Hawai‘i People’s Fund
Honoring Nā Maka o ka ‘Āina for their body of work
Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation
Native Hawaiian Advocate Award
Recognizes outstanding individuals with a track record of advocacy and personal contributions to the Native Hawaiian community. This award also honors those who champion Native Hawaiian rights and demonstrate strong leadership ability.
Hawai‘i Film Office
Film in Hawai‘i Award
Awarded to Joan Lander and Puhipau of Nā Maka o ka ‘Āina for their significant contributions in promoting the local film industry
Pacific Islanders in Communications
Honoring Puhipau & Joan Lander of Nā Maka o ka ‘Āina for a lifetime of dedication to documenting and preserving the Hawaiian culture on film. Presented at Deep Waters Pacific Film Series, UH-Mānoa.
Maoli Arts Month
7th Annual MAMo Award
Honoring Puhipau and Nā Maka o ka ‘Āina for years of devotion, labor and commitment promoting Native Hawaiian visual arts through film and documentation.
Kahilu Theatre
Ka Nu‘u Award
Presented to Nā Maka o ka ‘Āina as part of the Kūkulu Ola Hawaiian Filmmakers Series

Nā Mamo Makamae o ka Poʻe Hawaiʻi – Living Treasures of the Hawaiian People

Office of Hawaiian Affairs

Honoring Puhipau as a master practitioner and knowledge keeper in the field of videography and documentary


Ka ʻAhahui Hawaiʻi Aloha ʻĀina – Hawaiian Patriotic League

Resolution honoring Puhipau, Hawaiian Patriot and Hawaiian National



Lā Hoʻihoʻi Ea Honolulu – annual honoree

Lā Hoʻihoʻi Ea – Sovereignty Restoration Day

Honoring Abraham “Puhipau” Ahmad and Kelii “Skippy” Ioane

visit our Mauna Kea informational website