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Jamaica Heolimeleikalani Osorio: This is the Way We Rise

Filmmaker Ciara Lacy documents Jamaica Heolimeleikalani Osorio, a Kanaka Maoli wahine poet, activist and academic, and her continued work towards justice for Hawaii’s native population.

Artist Biography

Jamaica Heolimeleikalani Osorio is a Kanaka Maoli wahine poet, activist and academic. Osorio earned her PhD in English — Hawaiian literature, with the completion of her dissertation entitled: “(Re)membering ʻUpena of Intimacies: A Kanaka Maoli Moʻolelo Beyond Queer Theory.” Currently, Osorio is an Assistant Professor of Indigenous and Native Hawaiian Politics at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Osorio is a three-time national poetry champion, poetry mentor and a published author. She is a proud past Kaiāpuni student, Ford fellow, and a graduate of Kamehameha, Stanford (BA) and New York University (MA). Follow her on Twitter.

Filmmaker Biography

Ciara Lacy is a native Hawaiian filmmaker whose work has been featured on networks including PBS, ABC, Al Jazeera, and Netflix. Her directorial debut, the feature-length documentary OUT OF STATE, premiered at the 2017 LA Film Festival and later won Best Documentary Feature Film at the Cayman International Film Festival.  Recently, Lacy produced a short documentary film about a violinist’s hopes for reconciliation for North and South Korea entitled 9 at 38, which premiered at Tribeca in 2018. Lacy is the inaugural Sundance Institute Merata Mita Fellow as well as part of the inaugural class of NATIVe Fellows at the European Film Market. She has also benefited from fellowships with the Sundance Institute and Time Warner Foundation, Firelight Media’s Documentary Lab, the Sundance Institute’s NativeLab, Tribeca All Access, the Princess Grace Foundation, the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation, and the Independent Film Project (IFP). Lacy holds a B.A. from Yale University, and is a lecturer at the University of Hawaii West Oahu in its Academy for Creative Media. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.