Lisette Flanary

Associate Professor

Lisette Flanary | Associate Professor

As an independent filmmaker and a hula dancer, Lisette Marie Flanary creates documentary films that celebrate a modern renaissance of the hula dance and Hawaiian culture. She is the writer, producer, and director of Lehua Films and her first feature documentary, AMERICAN ALOHA: HULA BEYOND HAWAIʻI, received a CINE Golden Eagle Award when it aired on the critically acclaimed P.O.V. series on PBS in 2003.

Her award-winning film, NĀ KAMALEI: THE MEN OF HULA, featuring legendary Hawaiian master hula teacher and entertainer, Robert Cazimero, screened in numerous film festivals and Lisette received the Hawaiʻi Filmmaker Award at the Hawaiʻi International Film Festival in 2007. The film also received Best Documentary and Audience Awards at the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival, the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, and the San Diego Asian Film Festival. NĀ KAMALEI: THE MEN OF HULA was broadcast nationally on the 2007-2008 Independent Lens series on PBS and was the winner of the Audience Award for the series. The film was also selected for Tribeca Film Institute’s All Access program and the Independent Feature Project’s Spotlight on Documentaries screenings.

Lisette directed the feature-length documentary film, ONE VOICE, produced by Pacific Islanders in Communications and Juniroa Productions, which follows the young song directors at the Kamehameha Schools Song Contest celebrating the revitalization of the Hawaiian language through music. It was nominated for an Emerging Director Award at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival in 2010 and won Audience Awards for Best Documentary at the Hawaiʻi International Film Festival, the San Diego Asian Film Festival, and the San Francisco International Asian Film Festival in 2011. ONE VOICE received a limited theatrical release in Hawaiʻi and Japan in 2011 and broadcast nationally on PBS in 2012. In 2016, ONE VOICE was a 25 in 25 Honoree celebrating the 25th anniversary of Pacific Islanders in Communications.

Currently Lisette is directing and producing the final film in a trilogy of documentaries on the hula dance entitled TOKYO HULA which explores the explosive popularity of the hula in Japan. Research and development for the project was completed with funding support from the ITVS Diversity Development Fund, PIC, and the Jerome Foundation Travel and Study Grant. She was also awarded a Corporation for Public Broadcasting Professional Development Fellowship to attend the International Public Television Conference (INPUT) as a producing fellow in 2014 and was a Faculty Fellow at the Emmy Foundation’s Faculty Seminar in Los Angeles, California.

Lisette is a graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts in Film and Television Production and received her MFA in Creative Writing at the New School University. Having lived in New York City for over twenty years, Lisette joined the faculty of the Academy for Creative Media at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa in 2011. She is an Associate Professor of Native/Indigenous Creative Media who teaches courses in screenwriting, producing, critical studies, and indigenous filmmaking. She received the Board of Regents’ Medal for Excellence in Teaching in 2016.