Lani Cupchoy is an award-winning independent filmmaker. A self-contained creative and passionate storyteller rooted in social justice and K-18 education, Lani’s credits include Director, Writer, Executive Producer, Producer, Cinematographer, Editor, and Choreographer. Film has allowed her to deepen and broaden scholarly activities that disseminate scholarship in more accessible ways while fostering civic engagement and empowering communities.
Protecting our Iwi (2022) Coming soon
A teaser from the Islandtrification documentary on protecting precontact ancient Hawaiian burials – Iwi kupuna (ancestral bones) with Noelani Ahia on the island of Maui.
Islandtrification (2022) Coming soon
Islandtrification documents the journey of Native Hawaiian families resisting predatory gentrification on Maui, Hawaii, which has a deep history of displacing locals due to economic development-agribusiness and remains the prime spot for the world elite to build their multimillion-dollar estates. To learn more and support the families – Facebook: LAND BACK – Hoʻihoʻi ʻāina – MAUI
Aloha Soul Food (2022)
Merging personal memoir and photojournalism, Aloha Soul Food nostalgically explores decolonial foodways through the family life stories of six Pacific Island women. Set in Los Angeles, California, the documentary embodies an intergenerational love story to working class women deeply rooted in Hawaii while skillfully examining a century of how they navigated through the Chinese exclusion Acts, the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom, 1960s school cafeterias, the United Public Workers Strike in 1979, and the Women’s Army Core. The film shows how generations can reclaim identity and historical spaces through recipes while reminding us of the deep ties that bind our families and communities together.
Food Medicine (2020)
Deep in the suburbs of Los Angeles, CA during the COVID-19 pandemic, mother and daughter use undervalued home garden methods to grow and share fresh healthy abundant produce with family, neighbors, and friends.
Urban Seeds (2019)
Initiated by Mexican immigrant students, the film highlights the story of a school-based garden movement’s extraordinary passion and fight for food justice in urban Los Angeles and how this grassroots program transformed their neighborhoods and schools into healthier communities becoming the first of its kind in the United States.
Truth Seekers (2016)
Fifth graders and their teacher from Bell Gardens Elementary take on the California State Capitol and successfully champion the passage of AB 146 requiring that the unconstitutional deportations of Mexican-Americans be included in textbooks.
Creative Arts Films
Transforming Trauma (2021)
Poet Laureate Luis Rodriguez
Breathe Hawaiian (2014)
Elder Chris Kamana
Voices of Wisdom (2011)
Artist Celso Barcena
Voices of Wisdom (2011)
Healer Jesse Soto
Lani Cupchoy is an Advisory Board Member for Creating Creators Foundation 501c3
Creative professionals work in the classroom with the students and the teacher to create a shared experience and develop new ideas. Through extended dialogue and differing perspectives these students develop critical thinking and become innovators.