Leitis in Waiting


Fighting for the right to openly express their true genders and to challenge their traditional roles in the culture, leitis confront resistance from the deeply religious parts of Tongan culture. In the face of poverty and opposition from fundamentalist Christians, leitis organize a beauty pageant and host a community dialogue, challenging their limited social mobility and fighting for inclusivity in a country they love. Presented in partnership with the Red Nation Indigenous Film Festival.

Preceded By:

3 Siblings (Dir: Sheena Rossiter, 23 min.)

TUE | July 17 | DGA 2 | 5:00 PM

Director: Dean Hamer / Joe Wilson / Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu

Tonga / USA | 72 minutes | 2018

Director Bio:

Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu is a Native Hawaiian teacher, cultural practitioner and community leader with a long history of perpetuating Kanaka Maoli language, philosophy and traditions, and promoting cross-cultural work throughout the Pacific Islands. She also engages in many community affairs and civic activities, and is currently the Chair of the O’ahu Island Burial Council. Hina was both a protagonist and educational advisor for the award winning documentaries Kumu Hina and A Place in the Middle.

Emmy Award-winning filmmakers and longtime activists Dean Hamer and Joe Wilson have screened their work and won awards at film festivals around the world including the Berlinale, Human Rights Watch, Toronto International, AFI Docs, Los Angeles, Frameline and Outfest; their films have been viewed by millions of television viewers on PBS, Independent Lens and international networks. They are currently working on a series of films that highlight Pacific Islander voices and stories. Hamer and Wilson are Fellows of the Sundance Institute and live on north shore O’ahu.