Each year I attend the Maui Film Festival’s appropriately named Celestial Cinema on the Wailea Gold and Emerald Course. As I lie on my beach blanket, on the green, under the stars, I laugh, cry and reflect. Each film is a reminder of our basic human nature, our struggle to do the right thing, flourish or merely survive. The documentaries leave me in awe, increase my awareness and inspire me to be more than I ever thought I could be.
The Maui Film Festival begins Wednesday, June 13th and concludes on Sunday, June 17th, 2012. The mission of the Maui Film Festival…
The most difficult part of attending the festival is deciding which films I’d like to see and this year is no exception. In addition to the Wailea location, you can also attend screenings at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center’s Castle Theater. A few of my must see picks from this year’s line-up…
Liberal Arts follows Jess (Josh Radnor) back to his University at the request of his old retiring English professor. He begins a relationship with Zibby (Elizabeth Olson) that is both comedic and inappropriate.
The Monster of Nix is an animated dark fairy tale fashioned like a puppet show in which troubled young Willy battles the monster who devoured the village Nix.
Friends with Kids is the story of two Manhattan professionals who decide to have a child together even as they remain unromantically involved as two of their married couple counterparts also decide to start families. This comedy will make us question the line between love and friendship but more importantly will make us laugh. As a childless chick in what feels like a very child filled world, I can definitely relate to the must procreate pressure. A great cast including Jon Hamm, Kristin Wiig and Jennifer Westfeldt. My favorite line from the trailer is “I will be 100% committed…half the time.”
H2indO is a stand up paddle documentary which follows seven SUPers, including a world champion, on a boat for fourteen days to test their range in the waters of Indonesia on the surfbreaks of the Mentawai Islands.
Quill: Life of a Guide Dog is a Japanese film that feels like a hybrid documentary and narrative tale. As we follow the training of Quill, a labrador retriever, we also will also learn about the contemporary culture of Japan including how they view domestic animals differently than we do in the US.
The Short Film Showcase is ten shorts ranging from magical to passionate. The Showcase also includes Until the Sun Sets directed by Kenji Doughty which will give us a glimpse into early Hawaii as a young chief defends his island valley.
Lola Versus starts with wedding dress shopping with the namesake character Lola (Greta Gerwig) and continues with the groom to be’s change of heart which sends Lola into a second adolescence. Confusion, sarcasm and bad advice ensue.
Go for Broke! Memories of Hawaii’s Japanese Niseis is full of interviews of survivors and old-timers who remember the difficult times of WWII when they were considered neither American or Japanese post Pearl Harbor but fought in spite of the racial prejudice with heart and courage as part of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. Go for Broke was their motto and we still use that term in Hawaii today, “to wager or risk everything”. My great-uncle was a member of the 442nd and my father grew up, as a Nisei, in Hawaii during WWII. I take every opportunity to learn about Hawaii’s history as I can as it helps me to understand where I came from and the history of my own family.
So, you see my dilemma, right? If I had my way, I’d see each and every single film offered at the festival. So many movies, so little time, complicated by the overwhelming desire to be at two different venues at the same time. The Maui Film Festival is also full of fantastic events where you can enjoy a meal or pupus with the filmmakers and attendees including the Twilight Reception, the Taste of Wailea and the Filmmakers Panel.
Visit Maui Film Festival for a complete listing of film and events including summaries and trailers. Tickets including packages are also available on their website.
Images and trailer via the Maui Film Festival’s website.
When I am unable to attend showings by the Maui Film Festival (or all the showings I’d like to see), I find the Maui Film Festival a wonderful resource for my “must watch” list for future Netflix, iTunes or dvd viewing. Not every film will be easily available later but I keep a list, just in case. I still have the First Light 2011 flyer on my fridge since I was too sick to attend any of the showings by the Maui Film Festival’s during their winter event of Academy screenings. I have been slowly but surely viewing my way, in the comfort of my own home, through their carefully curated list.