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Heart of the Sea

A film by Lisa Denker and Charlotte Lagarde

Luminous, amazingly brave, Sunn is one of the most heroic documentary subject in memory

San Francisco Chronicle

Rell Sunn, Photo by Tom Keck

Brilliant and moving

Outside Magazine


A love poem to Hawaii's matriarchal heritage

Bay Area Reporter



Winner of the PBS Independent Lens Audience Award, HEART OF THE SEA: KAPOLIOKA’EHUKAI is a breathtaking portrait of surf legend Rell “Kapolioka’ehukai” Sunn, founding member of the Women’s Professional Surfing Association and beloved breast cancer activist. With exhilarating water scenes and captivating archival footage of surf culture, HEART OF THE SEA is an important look at Hawai’i’s integral part of America’s rich cultural heritage, a stirring portrait of a courageous legend.








Best Documentary, 2003 Ashland Independent Film Festival

Audience Award, 2003 PBS Independent Lens

Audience Award, 2003 San Francisco International Film Festival

Special Jury Prize/Aloha Spirit Award, 2002 Hawaii International Film Festival

Best Documentary & Audience Award, 2003 Orinda Film Festival

Audience Award, 2003 Newport Beach Film Festival

Best of Fest, 2011 Women Film Festival, VT

Craigen Weston Bowen Award, 2011 Women In Adventure Sports Film




A film by Lisa Denker and Charlotte Lagarde

Documentary film - 54:00 – 2003

Broadcast on PBS Independent Lens, HBO Latin America, Canal + Scandinavia Available on DVD




Directors: Lisa Denker & Charlotte Lagarde

Producer: Charlotte Lagarde

Executive Producer: Janet Cole

Editor: Vivien Hillgrove

Principal Cinematography: Lisa Denker

Underwater Cinematography: Don King

Original Music: Miriam Cutler, Shawna Ngum and Todd Boekelheide

Additional Music: Ledward Kaapana

Sound Editing and Mix: Lora Hirschberg


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