Interview: Get to know the 2018 People’s Choice Award Winner

Get to Know the 2018 People’s Choice Award Winner

MarQ Morrison earned the 2018 People’s Choice Award with an impressive 7,443 votes for his submission “Ka Hale: A Revival.” Read on to learn more about MarQ and his winning film.

What is your background as a filmmaker?

MM: I graduated with a B.A. in Motion Picture Film Technology and a minor in architecture from the University of Central Florida in 1992. After graduating, I moved to Chicago where I got into photography as a photo assistant and then moved back to Orlando to pursue filmmaking. I eventually made it out to Los Angeles for six years but have now lived and worked in Maui for the past nine years.

What drew you to this project?

MM:  I was drawn to this project for its cultural significance. I’ve been working on a series about the six elements of Hawaiian culture, and the Hale is one of the important ones. I am also proud of the fact that this is a passion project and completely self-funded.

Can you give us a brief synopsis of the film?

MM:Ka Hale: A Revival” documents architect and kumu (a Hawaiian title meaning teacher) Francis Palani Sinenci as he leads the revival of ancient Hawaiian Hale building in an effort to save indigenous cultural practices.

What does winning this year’s People’s Choice Award and having your film screened at Chicago Ideas mean to you?

MM: Winning the People’s Choice Award and a screening at Chicago Ideas was a breath of fresh air. I now feel like people want to see and learn more about the Hawaiian culture and indigenous architecture. I am also very happy for Kumu Francis to be acknowledged by his peers in the architecture community. Shining a light on the indigenous art of Hawaiian Hale building and Francis was the main idea for me. I’m so happy that he and the film were received so well.

Where can people see more of your work?


I constantly find myself drawn to learning more about the Hawaiian culture today and in the past, and that’s what inspired my submission to the AIA Film Challenge. I am currently working on, and seeking funding for, more projects related to my submission “Ka Hale: A Revival.” You can learn more about them at


Congratulations to MarQ Morrison, and this year’s People’s Choice Award Winning film, “Ka Hale: A Revival”! Thanks to all of you who voted for your favorite film. Your participation is a critical part of the success of the AIA Film Challenge.