From Surf and Land to New York Fashion Week: New Films from Pacific Heartbeat


Season 12 presents contemporary stories from Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander women through four new films premiering in August.

From Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia to Hawai'i, Oceania and beyond, many regions, people and cultures make up the Pacific Islands. Through rich and artistically-told stories about these Indigenous people and places, Pacific Heartbeat centers the beauty and diversity of the Pacific Islands; for its 12th season, the series showcases contemporary Pacific Islander experiences through four rich and impactful films about ecology and advancements from communities in Hawai'i and Tahiti. Beginning August 7, watch new documentaries featuring Native Hawai'ian and Pacific Islander women seeking greatness from within and beyond their communities.

The new season of Pacific Heartbeat premieres
Monday, August 7 at 8/7c. Check your local listings.
Ola Hou: Journey to New York Fashion Week
August 7 on TV, online & on the PBS app

When Native Hawaiian fashion designer, Sharayah Chun-Lai receives an invitation from the world-renowned Runway 7 to showcase her brand, Ola Hou Designs, at the prestigious New York Fashion Week, she and her supportive family are tossed into a fast-paced world of planning, preparation and runway readiness to bring the spirit of the Big Island to the magic of the Big Apple.

Island Cowgirls
August 14 on TV, online & on the PBS app

On the northwest side of Hawai‘i island, as La‘i Bertlemann prepares to graduate from high school, she must make a difficult decision whether to stay home and continue her family tradition of land stewardship or leave. On the south side, Lani Cran Petrie is at a crossroads as she continues to plan for the future of her ranch while faced with the uncertainty of the lease of the land expiring soon.

Daughters of the Waves
August 21 on TV, online & on the PBS app

Although only 20, Vahine Fierro is undaunted by the Teahupo‘o wave, considered the most dangerous in the world. Vahine surfs as no other Polynesian girl has ever surfed. In Tahitian culture, riding the waves is an ancestral activity from which women had been gradually eliminated, but now surfing is open to women, just in time for the Olympics.

Hawaii's Precious Resources
August 28 on TV, online & on the PBS app

Three short films that explore the delicate balance in Hawai‘i’s ecosystems, that encourage us to reflect on our relationship with the natural world and show us that even the smallest species, like Hawaiian tree snails, and ornamental trees, like the coconut, are worth saving.

Pacific Heartbeat is presented by Pacific Islanders in Communications

In August 2023, a series of devastating wildfires spread across Maui, leaving over 100 dead, over 1,000 missing and countless others displaced. The island now seeks a path to recovery. Pacific Islanders in Communications have collected resources to support restoration efforts in Hawai'i – click here for how to help.

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As the summer winds to a close, slow down this August with WORLD films that cast a light on often-overlooked communities and issues here at home and around the globe, from the return of Pacific Heartbeat with stories exploring fashion, surfing, agriculture and more in the Pacific Islands to an encore presentation of Afghanistan: The Wounded Land marking the second anniversary of the U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan.