PACIFIC WALKING WARRIORS is a feature documentary that follows the story of two Samoan Americans as they walk across America to raise awareness of obesity and diabetes, particularly among the Pacific Islander American communities they meet along the way. The walking warriors–prize-winning novelist Sia Figiel and artist Mario LeMafa–have both been touched by the diseases in some way, and the walk is a personal journey of reflection, cleansing and decolonization for them, in addition to community-building.
Kimberlee Bassford is a documentary filmmaker based in Honolulu, Hawai‘i. Her most recent film WINNING GIRL (2014), about a Hawaiian teenage judo and wrestling champion, had its national broadcast on the World Channel’s “America ReFramed” series in May 2015. It is distributed by Women Make Movies in North America and by Java Films worldwide.
Prior to that, she produced, directed, wrote and co-edited PATSY MINK: AHEAD OF THE MAJORITY (2008), about the late U.S. Representative Patsy Mink, the first woman of color in Congress and co-author of the landmark gender equity legislation Title IX. The film won awards at the Hawai‘i International Film Festival and San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival, among others. It aired nationally on PBS and is distributed by Women Make Movies.
She produced the short documentary LOTUS ROOT: A GREAT GRANDDAUGHTER’S JOURNEY (2010) about her great grandfather who was a successful businessman and philanthropist. She was also a producer on UNNATURAL CAUSES: IS INEQUALITY MAKING US SICK? (2008), a four-hour national PBS documentary series and public engagement campaign that investigates America’s socioeconomic and racial disparities in health, as well as on the three-hour PBS documentary series THE MEANING OF FOOD (2005), about the social significance of food.
She had her directorial debut with CHEERLEADER (2003), a short documentary that follows a squad of young, bright-eyed California cheerleaders on its quest for the national cheerleading championships. The film won the Student Academy Award in Documentary and CINE Golden Eagle and aired nationally on HBO Family. The film is distributed by Documentary Educational Resources.
Kimberlee holds a BA in psychology from Harvard University and a Masters in Journalism from the University of California Berkeley. She owns Making Waves Films LLC, a documentary production company in Honolulu, and is an instructor of journalism at Windward Community College.