Pili Ka Moʻo

The Fukumitsu ʻOhana (family) of Hakipuʻu are Native Hawaiian taro farmers and keepers of this generational practice. While much of Oʻahu has become urbanized, Hakipuʻu remains a kīpuka (oasis) of traditional knowledge where great chiefs once resided and their bones still remain. The Fukumitsus are tossed into a world of complex real estate and judicial proceedings when nearby Kualoa Ranch, a large settler-owned corporation, destroys their familial burials to make way for continued development plans.

This film is part of a series and multimedia platform, made in partnership with Indigenous storytellers and their communities worldwide, invites learning from time-honored and current Indigenous ways of being. Facing a climate crisis, the Reciprocity Project embraces Indigenous value systems that have bolstered communities since the beginning of time. To heal, we must recognize that we are in relationship with Earth, a place that was in balance for millenia. More information at www.reciprocity.org.

  • Justyn Ah Chong
    Director
  • Malia Akutagawa
    Associate Producer
  • Malia H.K. Akutagawa
    Featuring
  • Kamakaniʻokahaku Fukumitsu
    Featuring
  • Keʻaleikeanowai Fukumitsu
    Featuring
  • Keoki Fukumitsu
    Featuring
  • Kōlea Ekemaliakaehukai
    Featuring
  • Makanani Fukumitsu
    Featuring
  • Navahineʻomakaliʻi Fukumitsu
    Featuring
  • Summer Day Fukumitsu
    Featuring
  • Teahiroa Fukumitsu
    Featuring
  • Justyn Ah Chong
    Director of Photography
  • Kaʻolonānalapaʻa Ah Chong
    Writer
  • Justyn Ah Chong
    Writer
  • Justyn Ah Chong
    Sound Recordist
  • Justyn Ah Chong
    Editor
  • Nick Stone
    Editor
  • Sauli Pillay
    Editor
  • Jacob Bearchum
    Assistant Editor
  • Eleni Ledesma
    COVID-19 Supervisor
  • Āina Paikai
    On Set COVID-19 Coordinator
  • Ivy Lagod
    Photographer
  • Summer Day Fukumitsu
    Archival Images Provider
  • Tracy Rector
    Executive Producer
  • Taylor Hensel
    Series Co-Director
  • Adam Mazo
    Series Co-Director
  • Taylor Hensel
    Series Producer
  • Adam Mazo
    Series Producer
  • Kavita Pillay
    Series Producer
  • Tracy Rector
    Series Producer
  • Mishy Lesser
    Learning Co-Director
  • Dina Gilio-Whitaker
    Learning Co-Director
  • Kavita Pillay
    Field Production Coordinator
  • Sauli Pillay
    Production Manager
  • Jacob Bearchum
    Lead Assistant Editor
  • Eleni Ledesma
    COVID Safety Supervisor
  • Ben Pender-Cudlip
    Technologist / Systems Management Consultant
  • Chelsea Strelser
    Administration / Program Support Specialist
  • Blake Brown
    Opening Animation
  • Paige Pettibon
    Opening Illustration
  • Jennifer Kreisberg
    Opening Animation Music
  • Heather Cassano
    Color Correction
  • Sauli Pillay
    Color Correction
  • Dave Howe
    Sound Engineer
  • David Gallander
    Sound Engineer
  • Bear Allison
    Promotional Photographer
  • Ernesto Rafael Acosta Cepeda
    Promotional Photographer
  • Taylor Hensel
    Promotional Photographer
  • Ivy Lagod
    Promotional Photographer
  • Jared Lank
    Promotional Photographer
  • Keri Oberly
    Promotional Photographer
  • Brianna Smith
    Promotional Photographer
  • Loren Waters
    Promotional Photographer
  • Yen Tan
    Poster Design
  • Cindy Chischilly
    Poster Design
  • Melissa Billows
    Accounting
  • Jonathan Saceda
    Accounting
  • Susi Walsh
    Accounting
  • Jeffrey Cadwell
    Legal
  • Justine Jacob
    Legal
  • Sarah Robertson
    Legal
  • Haley Gustafson
    Trademark Support
  • Haley Gustafson
    Administrative Support
  • Neyda Neyda Quiñones-Ortiz
    Administrative Support
  • Scott Kyllo
    IT Support
  • TurnStyle Studio
    Website
  • Sauli Pillay
    DIT
  • Stella Covre
    Series Translators & Interpreters
  • Flavia Franco
    Series Translators & Interpreters
  • Jonathan Luna
    Series Translators & Interpreters
  • Neyda Quiñones-Ortiz
    Series Translators & Interpreters
  • Maria Angelica Ramirez
    Series Translators & Interpreters
  • Joel Schomberg
    Promotional Design & Graphics
  • Cindy Chischilly
    Promotional Design & Graphics
  • Trisha Sacramone
    Intern
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short
  • Genres:
    Indigenous, Environmental, Pacific Islander
  • Runtime:
    13 minutes 58 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    November 19, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    50,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
    English
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    No
  • Hawai'i International Film Festival 
    Honolulu
    United States
    November 4, 2021
    World Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Skábmagovat Indigenous Peoples’ Film Festival
    Inari
    Finland
    January 27, 2022
    Official Selection
  • Big Sky Documentary Film Festival
    Missoula
    United States
    February 25, 2022
    Montana Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Durango Independent Film Festival
    Durango
    United States
    March 2, 2022
    Colorado Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Environmental Film Festival In The Nation's Capital
    Washington D.C.
    United States
    March 2, 2022
    East Coast Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Seattle International Film Festival
    Seattle, Washington
    United States
    May 14, 2022
  • Riverside International Film Festival
    Riverside, California
    United States
    April 21, 2022
  • Independent Film Festival Boston
    Boston, Massachusetts
    United States
    April 27, 2022
  • Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival
    Los Angeles, California
    United States
    May 8, 2022
  • CAAMfest
    San Francisco, California
    United States
    May 12, 2022
    San Francisco
  • Mountainfilm
    Telluride, Colorado
    United States
    May 26, 2022
  • Northwest Folklife Festival
    Seattle, Washington
    United States
    May 27, 2022
  • Wairoa Māori Film Festival
    Kahungunu Marae, Nuhaka
    New Zealand
    June 2, 2022
  • DeadCenter Film Festival
    Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
    United States
    June 9, 2022
  • Māoriland Film Festival
    Ōtaki, Aotearoa
    New Zealand
    June 29, 2022
    Best Documentary Short
  • Durban International Film Festival
    Durban
    South Africa
    July 21, 2022
    Official Selection
  • BlackStar Film Festival
    Philadelphia, PA
    United States
    August 3, 2022
    Official Selection
  • DC Asian Pacific American Film Festival
    Washington DC
    United States
    July 14, 2022
  • Asian American International Film Festival
    New York, NY
    United States
    August 3, 2022
    New York Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Regina International Film Festival and Awards
    Regina
    Canada
    August 9, 2022
    Official Selection
  • The International First Peoples Festival Présence Autochtone
    Montréal, Québec
    Canada
    August 16, 2022
    Official Selection
  • Asinabka Film and Media Arts Festival
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Canada
    August 10, 2022
  • Edmonton International Film Festival
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Canada
    September 22, 2022
    Official Selection
  • 307 International Film Festival
    Laramie, Wyoming
    United States
    August 27, 2022
    Official Selection
  • Nuuk International Film Festival
    Nuuk
    Greenland
    September 14, 2022
    Official Selection
  • Local Sightings Film Festival
    Seattle, WA
    United States
    September 16, 2022
    Official Selection
  • Woodstock Film Festival
    Woodstock, NY
    United States
    October 1, 2022
    Official Selection
  • Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival
    Hot Springs, Arkansas
    United States
    October 10, 2022
    Official Selection
  • imagineNATIVE
    Toronto
    United States
    October 18, 2022
    Official Selection
  • Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival
    Philadelphia,PA
    United States
    November 3, 2022
    Official Selection
  • Fayetteville Film Fest
    Fayetteville, Arkansas
    United States
    October 20, 2022
    Best Documentary Short
  • Cucalorus Film Festival
    Wilmington, NC
    United States
    November 17, 2022
    Official Selection
  • Birraranga Film Festival
    Melbourne
    Australia
    March 23, 2023
    Official Selection
  • Capital City Film Festival
    Lansing, MI
    United States
    April 5, 2023
    Official Selection
  • Short Circuit Pacific Rim Film Festival
    Vancouver, BC
    Canada
    May 5, 2023
Distribution Information
  • Nia Tero
    Distributor
    Country: Worldwide
    Rights: All Rights
Director Biography - Justyn Ah Chong

Justyn Ah Chong is a Native Hawaiian filmmaker from Mililani, Oʻahu. After graduating from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts in 2011, Justyn worked as a cinematographer and editor at ʻŌiwi Television Network - Hawaii's first Indigenous broadcast station. In 2019 his narrative short DOWN ON THE SIDEWALK IN WAIKĪKĪ premiered at the Maoriland Film Festival in New Zealand and shared the People’s Choice Award for Best Short Drama before continuing on to screen at 20+ festivals around the world and winning several other awards.
Most recently, Justyn was involved in producing the George Helm narrative bio-pic, HAWAIIAN SOUL (2020), which premiered at the 2020 Hawaii International Film Festival and won best Made in Hawaii Short and an Audience Award. He's currently producing Kekama Amona's narrative short film, E MĀLAMA PONO WILLY BOY, and is in pre-production for his second directorial narrative short, THE MAN AND THE TREE. Concurrently, Justyn continues to create culturally-inspired, place-based stories on a work-for-hire basis through his production company, Olonā Media.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

It seems that now more than ever, Native Hawaiian burials are being dug up and ancestral remains disturbed for the sake of continued "development," "progress," and economic gain here in the occupied Hawaiian Kingdom. By highlighting the Fukumitsu family and their ongoing struggle to protect their ʻiwi kūpuna (family burials), I hope this film sheds light on the reciprocal relationship Native Hawaiians maintain with their family beyond the veil, and allows others to see why for us, it isnʻt simply old bones in the ground, but rather treasures worth protecting at all costs.