Sancia Miala Shiba Nash & Noah Keone Viernes
2024 Grant Recipients

Sovereign (2023 -), co-directed by Noah Keone Viernes and Sancia Miala Shiba Nash, is a feature length experimental documentary about Keʻeaumoku Kapu, a Kanaka ʻŌiwi community leader, activist, and caretaker of Nā ʻAikāne o Maui. Produced by North Beach-West Maui Benefit Fund, the film focuses on Kapu’s nearly 20-year battle, in and out of the U.S. court system, to reclaim his kuleana land in Kauaʻula valley on the island of Maui. Sovereign is a testament to the resilience of one family, whose efforts serve as a source of guidance for future generations pursuing land and water rights.

Noah Keone Viernes, Ph.D. is a Kanaka Maoli filmmaker, musician, and educator with ancestral ties to Punaluʻu, Kaʻū, and a formative upbringing between Hawaiʻi, New York, Chicago, and South Carolina. Since 2013, Noah has served as a faculty member of the Global Studies Department at Akita International University in Tōhoku, Honshu, Japan, where he offers courses in political thought and visual culture. His ongoing work addresses the aesthetics of protest, contemporary cinema, and the intersection of political expression, sound culture, and filmmaking in Southeast Asia and Hawaiʻi.
Sancia Miala Shiba Nash is a filmmaker and artist from Kīhei, Maui with ancestral roots in the Japanese archipelago, currently living and working in Honolulu, Oʻahu. Through time-based media, Sancia Miala works collaboratively to amplify intersectional stories of place. Her practice is guided by oral histories, archives, and acts of translation. Currently she supports the digitization and cataloging of independent documentary team Nā Maka o ka ʻĀina’s (Joan Lander and Puhipau) extensive moving image collection. In 2020, Sancia Miala co-founded with her partner, artist Drew Kahuʻāina Broderick, kekahi wahi, a grassroots film initiative dedicated to documenting transformations across Hawaiʻi and Moananui.