“It really marches to the beat of the festival’s drum,” says Maui Film Festival founder Barry Rivers of this year’s cinematic crop, “meaning it’s about compassionate vision and life-affirming storytelling.” If that sounds high-minded, well, it is.
Like previous incarnations, the 2011 festival is chock-full of quirky, heartfelt indie flicks, message-heavy documentaries and boundary-pushing shorts. If you want turgid blockbusters and formulaic rom coms, there’s always the corporate multiplex down the street. If, on the other hand, you want to be challenged—and rewarded—here’s your chance.
“We had a great turnout last year, and we’re hopeful people will keep coming out to support what we’re doing,” says Rivers. “This is something unique and special for Maui, and something that we want to keep building.”
The 2011 Maui Film Festival runs June 15-19 in Wailea and Kahului. For tickets and more information, call 579-9244 or visit www.mauifilmfestival.com
Screenings under the stars at the Wailea Gold & Emerald Golf Course
Wednesday, June 15
A Deeper Shade of Blue (8pm)
Amazing surf footage combines with a probing examination of the sport’s evolution; directed by MFF honoree Jack McCoy. 90 min.
Na Nai‘a: Legend of the Dolphins (10pm)
This is the closest you can come to swimming with dolphins without getting wet; MFF honoree Megan Fox is among the doc’s narrators. 80 min.
Thursday, June 16
Sun City Picture House (8pm)
Residents in earthquake-stricken Haiti build a movie house in this moving short, produced by MFF honoree Olivia Wilde. 27 min.
I Am (8:30pm)
After a near-death experience, director Tom Shadyac—who in a previous life directed lightweight comedies like Ace Ventura—goes on a quest to discover the meaning of, well, everything. 78 min.
Bali: Life Is An Offering (10pm)
Peek behind the veil of a sumptuous, fascinating island that’s far away from our own—but still has plenty to teach us. 90 min.
Friday, June 17
Preceded by Hello Caller
A sex-obsessed teen (though that might be redundant) is at the center of this whip-smart British comedy. 90 min.
The Future (10pm)
Preceded by The Lost Thing
The adoption of a cat sends a couple into a madcap downward spiral; so no kids, OK? 91 min.
Saturday, June 18
Preceded by Danny & Annie
After four decades in the closet, a man (Christopher Plummer) comes out, much to the consternation of his son (Ewan McGregor). 100 min.
Last Night (10pm)
Preceded by A Shore Thing
A young married couple (Keira Knightly and Sam Worthington) struggle with the bonds of monogamy. And if those two can’t stay attracted to each other, what hope is there for the rest of us? 99 min.
Sunday, June 19
(Kids 12 and under free)
Oxbow Walls of Perception (8pm)
Preceded by Blue Sway and The Sleepy Count
Haiku’s own Matt Meola is among the burgeoning watermen featured in this globe-trotting, wave-tackling thrill ride. 40 min.
Family of the Wa‘a (9pm)
Preceded by Plastic Tide
An intrepid crew navigates the length of the Hawaiian islands (some 1,500 miles) in a wa‘a, or traditional outrigger canoe and brings back some incredible footage. Our arms are sore just thinking about it. 89 min.
The Physics of Surfing (10:30pm)
The most exciting science lesson you’ll ever get. 26 min.
Indoor screenings at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center, Kahului
Wednesday, June 15
Page One: Inside The New York Times (5pm)
An insightful, at times suspenseful doc that gets behind the ink at America’s paper of record. 88 min.
The Vinter’s Luck (6:30pm)
A peasant dreams of making wine in Napoleon’s France; co-stars Keisha Castle-Hughes, still trying to top herself after an Oscar nomination at age 13. 127 min.
Another Earth (8:30pm)
What would we do if a planet exactly like our own suddenly appeared in the sky? Drill for oil is the cynic’s answer, but this thinking-person’s sci fi drama probes a bit deeper. 90 min.
Thursday, June 16
Building Hope (5pm)
A filmmaker sets out to build a school in the mountains of Kenya, and learns lessons both hard and uplifting. 70 min.
Miss Representation (6:30pm)
The struggles of women in the 21st century are examined through the eyes of various famous females, including Katie Couric, Condaleeza Rice, Rachel Maddow, Jane Fonda and many more. 90 min.
Based on the true story of deaf UFC champion Matt “The Hammer” Hamill. In English and American Sign Language, with subtitles. 108 min.
Friday, June 17
Love Shines (5pm)
Canada’s Ron Sexsmith might be the best singer-songwriter you’ve never heard of. Watch this and you’ll understand why. 87 min.
Why don’t riches equal happiness? Is less really more? You may think you know the answers, but this doc packs some illuminating surprises. 77 min.
Preceded by Missed Connections
Filmmaker Tiffany Shain (founder of the Webby Awards) explores the ties that bind us in the digital age. 82 min.
Burning Man: Voyage In Utopia (10pm)
Preceded by Matisyahu: Run & Return
From hard-core burners to curious outsiders, this exploration of the annual festival offers something for everyone. Fuzzy pants and glow-sticks optional. 83 min.
Saturday, June 18
Voice of the Xingu (3pm)
Preceded by Making Over Maui: The Keiki Kohola Project
Maui lifeguard Alfredo Villas Boas returns to his birthplace of Brazil to stand-up paddle down the Xingu River and defend indigenous people from encroaching development. 40 min.
The Last Mountain (5pm)
Coal companies are decimating mountains on the Mainland, and most people either don’t know about it or are powerless to stop them. See this film. Get angry. Get involved. 95 min.
The City Dark (6:30pm)
New York isn’t the only city that never sleeps; all over the world, urban sprawl has blotted out the brilliance of night. What’s the cost? This doc shines a light. 83 min.
Preceded by Long Story Short
Nine (fictional) copulating couples explore the nature and complexities of sex; for adult audiences only. 90 min.
Sunday, June 19
Short Film Showcase (1pm)
Shorts ranging in length from 8-24 minutes, about everything from poodles to crossword puzzles to an opium cook-off in Afghanistan. 114 min.
Jiro Dreams of Sushi (3pm)
Preceded by Tora
Masters of the roll meld art and cuisine; your popcorn will seem paltry by comparison. 81 min.
Crazy Wisdom (5pm)
The story of Tibetan guru Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, who helped transport Buddhism to the West. 89 min.
Finding Joe (6:30pm)
The ideas of the late Joseph Campbell—the hero’s journey, the power of mythology—are explored by everyone from Deepak Chopra to Mick Fleetwood to Laird Hamilton. 83 min.
Life In A Day (8pm)
Sweeping and epic even as it’s messy and small, this doc—produced by Ridley Scott—lives up to its name. 90 min.
THE SPECIAL EVENTS
Opening Night Twilight Reception
Wednesday, June 15, 5:30pm at Capische?, Hotel Wailea
Enjoy grinds from a gourmet seafood bar and grill station and indulge in tropical fruit dipped in a caramel fountain while you rub elbows with fellow film buffs and talk story about the celluloid treats to come. $125
Starry Night MoonDance
Wednesday, June 15, 10pm at Tommy Bahama Restaurant & Bar
Keep opening night going—the menu includes everything from Ahi tacos to Maui Cattle Co. beef sliders to pineapple creme brulee, capped off, of course, by ample libations and dancing into the wee hours. $70
Taste of Chocolate
Friday, June 17, 10pm, Four Seasons Resort
Six stations of decadent, gooey goodness: milk, dark, white, cake mousse, custard…your sweet tooth won’t know what hit it. $125
Saturday, June 18, Wailea Beach Marriott Resort & Spa
First, at 11am, directors Jack McCoy, Turk Pipkin and Laurent Le Gall and producers David Cumming, Christy Pipkin and Sandrine Di Rienzo will talk about journeys and destinations, specifically as they relate to documentary filmmaking. Next, at 12:15pm, producer/directors Tiffany Shlain, Fitria Putri, Jonathon Kay and Patrick Solomon will tackle nothing less than the future of civilization. Finally, at 1:30pm, the Maui-based filmmakers featured in this year’s festival—Alfredo Villas-Boas, Jace Panebianco, Mike Waltze, Skye Kelly and Eric Gilliom—will expound on their experiences. $10 per panel
Taste of Wailea
Saturday, June 18, 4:30pm, David Leadbetter Golf Academy
The food selection is too expansive to list here, so we’ll just give you the participating restaurants and let your imagination (and taste buds) run wild: Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, Mala Ocean Tavern, Monkeypod Kitchen, Matteo’s, Gannon’s & Joe’s, Bistro Molokini, Four Seasons, Pita Paradise, Mulligan’s on the Blue, Capische?, Spago and Ko at the Fairmont Kea Lani. Hungry? $120
Cosmic Closing Night Poolside Party
Sunday, June 19, 10pm, Hotel Wailea
Send this year’s fest out in style with a swanky waterside soiree featuring food, entertainment and sippables. The thing we’re most excited about? Liquid nitrogen gelato. $60
All awards will be presented
at Celestial Cinema
Jack McCoy, director/cinematographer
Award: Beacon Award (Wednesday,
June 15, 7:30pm)
Essential credits: In Search of Tubular Swells (1976), Storm Riders (1982), Blue Horizon (2004)
Signature film: A Deeper Shade of Blue (2011)
Megan Fox, actress
Award: Iris Award (Wednesday, June 15, 8pm)
Essential credits: Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen (2004), Jennifer’s Body (2009), Jonah Hex (2010)
Signature role: Mikaela Banes, Transformers (2007)
Upcoming films: Friends With Kids, This is Forty
Olivia Wilde, actress
Award: Female Shining Star Award (Thursday, June 16, 8pm)
Essential credits: Conversations With Other Women (2005), Bickford Shmeckler’s Cool Ideas (2006), Fix (2008),
Signature role: Quorra in TRON: Legacy (2011)
Upcoming films: Cowboys & Aliens, The Change Up, Butter
Garrett Hedlund, actor
Award: Rising Star Award (Friday, June 17, 8pm)
Essential credits: Troy (2004), Friday Night Lights (2004), Eragon (2006)
Signature role: Sam Flynn, TRON: Legacy (2011)
Upcoming films: On the Road
Andrew Garfield, actor
Award: Male Shining Star Award
(Saturday, June 18, 8pm)
Essential credits: Boy A (2007), The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009), Never Let Me Go (2010)
Signature role: Eduardo Saverin, The Social Network (2010)
Upcoming films: The Amazing Spider-Man