Karin Williams is a journalist and filmmaker from New Zealand of Polynesian heritage. She began her career as a reporter/photographer on the South Pacific island of Rarotonga, and went on to work for broadcast and cable networks in New Zealand and the USA.
PBS national credits include The Voyage Home
(1996) following a Native Hawaiian voyaging canoe in Alaska; Skin Stories
(2004), a documentary about indigenous tattoo traditions in the Pacific; The Meaning of Food
(2005), a three-part series celebrating food and cultures in America; Indian Country Diaries: A Seat the Drum
(2006) feature documentary exploring urban Native American experience in Southern California; and America at a Crossroads: Homegrown
(2008) tracing the rise of radical Islam in US prisons.
Karin produced for the Court/Tru TV forensic science documentary series North Mission Road
and L.A. Forensics
, featuring cases from the Los Angeles Police, Sheriff and County Coroner. She has also produced news and interview programs for Radio New Zealand, and worked for 8 years as a producer at Seattle’s NBC affiliate KING-TV.
Her films have screened at festivals in the USA, Pacific Islands and Europe including Hawai’i International Film Festival, Native American Film & Video Festival at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, Dreamspeakers and Wild and Scenic Film Festival. Awards include the Peabody and five regional Emmys for television production.
Karin founded Multinesia Productions Inc.
to support authentic storytelling from indigenous perspectives. For the past decade she has worked with native nations in Canada and Alaska to document a grassroots environmental justice movement on the Yukon River. She recently completed a 52-minute film, We Live by the River
, following efforts to protect wildlife, lands and waters in the far north (official selection: National Geographic All Roads Film Festival, Docuwest, Planet in Focus International Environmental Film & Video Festival, Alaska International Film Festival: Denali Award).
Since living in Los Angeles, Karin has produced two short feature films, The Florist
(Noor Film Festival, Bumbershoot Film Festival) and Spout
(Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, San Francisco Asian International Film Festival, New York Latino International Film Festival). She is producing a short video for the Screen Actors Guild American Indian Task Force highlighting the accomplishments of native actors.
Karin is currently developing the pilot episode for Expedition: Wisdom
, a six-part series about elder wisdom in the modern world, co-produced by National Geographic and Pacific Islanders in Communications (PIC) for PBS. She is also developing Sister Surfers
, celebrating the history and culture of women surfers, with funding from Cinereach, Pacific Pioneer Fund and LEF Foundation, which was a featured project at Tribeca All Access, and American Tiki
, a documentary deconstructing Polynesian pop culture, with funding from ITVS and PIC.