Heart of The Sea; Kapolioka'ehukai

A portrait of Hawaiian surfer and breast cancer activist Rell Sunn.
Year Released
Film Length(s)
54 mins
Closed captioning available
Remote video URL


Hailed as "remarkable" by Teacher Librarian and "enthusiastically recommended" by Video Librarian, Heart of the Sea 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 Hawaii's integral part of America's rich cultural heritage.

Featured review

Highly Recommended. This film will enhance Asian American and general Social Studies collections in school, college and university libraries.
Educational Media Reviews Online
Educational Media Reviews Online


A tribute to an exceptional woman athlete as well as a moving introduction to the culture - especially surfing culture - of Hawai'i.
Feminist Collections
Feminist Collections
HEART OF THE SEA is a love poem to Hawaii's matriarchal heritage.
Bay Area Reporter
Bay Area Reporter
Brilliant and Moving
Outside Magazine
Outside Magazine
My favorite of all the years entries, is the amazing tale of the Hawaiian surfing champion Rell Sunn... luminous, amazingly brave, Sunn is one of the most heroic documentary subject in memory
San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle

Awards and Screenings

Best of Fest, Women Film Festival, 2011
Audience Award, PBS/Independent Lens, 2003
Special Jury Prize/ Aloha Spirit Award, Hawaii International Film Festival, 2002
Best Documentary, Ashland Independent Film Festival, 2003
Audience Award for Best Documentary, San Francisco International Film Festival, 2003
Best Documentary & Audience Award, Orinda Film Festival, 2003
Audience Award for Best Documentary, Newport Beach Film Festival, 2003
Craigen Weston Bowen Award, Women In Adventure Sports Film, 2011

Features and Languages

Film Features

  • Closed Captioning
  • Transcript

Subtitle/Caption Languages

  • English
  • Spanish

Promotional Material

Promotional Stills

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