Agência para o Investimento e Comércio Externo de Portugal


A documentary about the Portuguese Diaspora on the US archipelago of Hawaii will make its national debut this coming weekend in Madeira.

The documentary, by the same producer of the previous productions of ‘Portuguese in California’ and ‘Portuguese in New England’, explores the size and scope of the Portuguese community in Hawaii.

It will make its national debut on the island of Madeira this coming Saturday, 27 April, in the auditorium of the John of Passos Cultural Center in Ponta do Sol.

The premiere is being held at the invitation of the Madeira regional government as part of celebrations to commemorate the 600th anniversary of the discovery of the islands of Madeira and Porto Santo.

“It’s fantastic that it (the documentary) is debuting in Madeira” said Nelson Ponta-Garça, in comments to Lusa News Agency, recalling that his two previous documentaries focused on the legacy of the Azores, which is “from where most of the Portuguese in America originates”.

Holding the inaugural exhibition of the documentary in national territory “makes perfect sense”, according to the director, because “a large percentage” of Luso-descendants living in Hawaii come from Madeira.


Estimates are that more than 10 percent of the population of the archipelago of Hawaii, which totals over 1.4 million inhabitants, is Portuguese-descendant.

Nelson Ponta-Garça added that the documentary is a form of bringing Madeira and Hawaii closer together, and revealed that the event will be attended by representatives of Big Island, where it is estimated that half the population may be of Portuguese origin.

The first Portuguese immigrant to be registered in the archipelago is João (John) Elliott de Castro, who according to the Library of Congress, arrived in 1814 and was King Kamehameha’s doctor.

Ponta-Garça also revealed that talks are underway with several television channels “to see how best to promote” the documentary in Hawaii and the rest of America.

Meanwhile, it has already been confirmed that ‘Portuguese in Hawaii’ will be available on Amazon’s streaming video platform Prime Video and can also be viewed on Vimeo.

The executive producer of the 42-minute film is Luso-descendant Marlene Hapai, and includes more than 40 interviews, ranging from community leaders to comedian Frank DeLima and singer Glenn Medeiros.

The documentary was sponsored by FLAD - Luso-American Foundation and the Regional Government of the Azores, and co-produced by Portuguese broadcaster RTP.

Next month, the film ‘Portuguese in New England’, which preceded the documentary in Hawaii, will be screened during the Feasts of the Lord Holy Christ of Miracles, an Azorean festival “which brings together more than 100,000 people in São Miguel”.

Ponta-Garça also said he is already working on the production of the next documentary, a more comprehensive film that should be ready by 2020 and will focus on Portuguese in all US states.