Standing Above the Clouds is a story of inter-generational women activists, who call themselves Ku Kia'i Mauna, or guardians of the mountain. The film follows three sets of mothers and daughters on the Big Island of Hawai'i who find themselves standing at the forefront of the movement to safeguard their sacred mountain, Mauna a Wakea, when a construction permit is granted for an eighteen story, Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) to be built directly below the summit on pristine, untouched land. The film explores the relationships between native Hawaiian mothers and daughters as they go from standing in ceremony to standing on the mountain and in the courtroom. Standing Above the Clouds brings into focus how the movement has brought a new found expression of solidarity and a spirit of hope amongst peoples across lands and oceans who form alliances to safeguard their environment, lifeways and future.
is a Director, DP, Producer, and the co-founder of Breaktide Productions, an all women of color video production company. Jalena has lead Breaktide to create national video campaigns for clients like THINX, Bright Pink, and Nike, as well as producing original short films. Jalena is a 2018 Sally Burns Shenkman Woman Filmmaker Fellow at the Jacob Burns Film Center, which has supported shorts that have premiered at SXSW, HotDocs, and Sundance. Jalena is currently directing her first feature documentary with Stick Figure Productions which has a Best Documentary Oscar nomination, numerous Emmy nominations and a win for Best Documentary, Special Jury Prize at Sundance.
is an independent producer and stage manager from Oakland, CA. She managers the Outreach & Inclusion program at Sundance Institute where she supports artists from underrepresented communities through intersectional fellowships and community programs. She has worked with a number of arts organizations looking to change the narrative of mainstream entertainment including the National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP), the Ford Theatres, and the Latino Theater Company.