Anne Keala Kelly

Keala is an award-winning filmmaker and journalist, and she is the producer, director and writer of “Why The Mountain.”

Her first feature length documentary, “Noho Hewa: The Wrongful Occupation of Hawai‘i,” garnered awards at international film festivals and is widely taught in universities in and beyond Hawaii.

Keala's  journalism has appeared in The Nation, Indian Country Today, The Honolulu Weekly and other publications, and her radio broadcasts have aired on NPR, PRI, and the Pacifica Network. Go to to learn more about her work.


Hale K. Mawae

Hale is an independent filmmaker and is the co-producer of "Why The Mountain."  He worked as an actor in Los Angeles and studied at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, but moved home to be a part of his community as a Kanaka Maoli filmmaker and educator. The lack of Hawaiian-made films and the untouched Hawaiian stories that he wants to see on the screen inspired Hale to learn the craft of filmmaking and work in the industry here in Hawaii on films such as "Big Eyes" and "Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates" (current), and television shows "Lost" and "The Last Resort," to name a few. He has produced and directed independent shorts and documentaries which have screened at the L.A. Asian Pacific Film Festival, Maui International Film Festival, and Hawaii International Film Festival. Hale is the executive director and co-owner of imagiNATIVE films. 


Ku’uleialoha Seto

Ku'u is co-owner of imagiNATIVE films and the co-producer of "Why The Mountain." A Kanaka Maoli independent producer, he studied at the UH Manoa Center for Hawaiian Studies. His path to film emerged from his awareness of the under representation of Hawaiians in media, something that has inspired him to become directly involved in changing the future for Hawaiian film and media makers. Coupled with the knowledge that Mauna Kea is spiritually, politically and culturally one of the most complex and extraordinary places on earth, Ku'u is dedicated to the telling of this story of the Hawaiian people.


Aisis Chen

Aisis works both behind the camera as an operator, and in front of the computer as a designer and editor. She is a creative technologist with an unconventional, multidisciplinary background and a passion for encouraging girls and women to share their stories. Aisis has engaged her skills in the movement to stop sex trafficking in Hawaii, and has shared her technical and production knowledge to help others in grassroots politics learn and use social media and multiple digital platforms of mediums (transmedia) to communicate their message. She has supported pilot programs for Hawaii Women in Filmmaking, such as Summer Reel Camp for Girls and Making Media That Matters.


Michael Shay Crain

Michael is a cinematographer who began his career in the advertising industry as a photographer, and eventually segued into cinematography. After working for 9 years in San Francisco, he moved to New York City to work at Milk Studios where he shifted from advertising into the highly creative and competitive fashion industry. Michael's clients have included Adidas, Nike, DQM, Puma, Hypebeats, H&M, Nowness, Chloe and other street and fashion brand/labels. Now back home in Hawaii, he is focusing on his director of photography skills for commercials, short films, and documentaries.


Daniel Gavern

Daniel hails from Northern California, and while 2500 miles from his original home, he is at home in Hawaii Nei. He studied to be a cinematographer at the UH Manoa Academy of Creative Media, and does freelance work in everything from short narrative and documentary films to corporate and wedding events. He's as versatile as he is talented, with a background in music and cooking. You can see some of Daniel's cinematography on Hale Mawea's Vimeo site.