The winner of this season’s Independent Lens Audience Award, as chosen by voting viewers, is…. Kumu Hina!
Interestingly, Kumu Hina is not the first Independent Lens film to win the Audience Award that is about hula dance: Men of Hula won the award in 2008.
We heard from Kumu Hina filmmaker Dean Hamer, understandably ecstatic about the news:
The Kuma Hina team is thrilled and humbled to receive this award from Independent Lens viewers. It’s a wonderful reflection on the commitment of PBS and Pacific Islanders in Communications to bring forward voices that are rarely heard in American media and to reach audiences that are not served anywhere else. For all the native Hawaiians and indigenous peoples around the world, for all the māhū and those who fall outside the Western gender binary, we say mahalo nui loa – thank you – and aloha – love, honor and respect for all.
Thanks to everyone who participated in the voting, and for watching Independent Lens this past season. We bet the competition for next year’s Audience Award will be just as tough and close as this year’s.