Mike Cahill’s “Another Earth” won the Audience Award for narrative feature, while Oren Kaplan’s “Hamill” took the nod for “independent feature,” while “Building Hope” won the doc category along with “Connected” and “Love Shines.” 18,000 people attended the event in Wailea, June 15 – 19.
“Months ago, I chose the mantra ‘Create the Future’ for the 2011 Maui Film Festival. And the Future delivered big time with a stellar list of Audience Award winning and crowd pleasing films, unforgettable culinary arts events, filmmakers panels and impecable weather for each evening’s under-the-stars, lit-by-the-moon and powered-by-the-sun celebrations for the enjoyment of over 18,000 attendees,” commented Barry Rivers, Maui Film Festival Director in a statement. “Watch out 2012. Here we come!”
The full list of winners with information and credit provided by the festival:
Audience Award – Narrative Feature: Another Earth
Directed by Mike Cahill and written by Brit Marling, this beautiful, moving and inspiring romantic drama is the best kind of science fiction feature–one focused on an idea, in this case the discovery of a ‘twin’ Earth that appears in our sky that might hold the promise of second chances and revisited dreams.
Audience Award – Independent Feature: Hamill
Directed by Oren Kaplan, this emotionally charged biopic about well-known American wrestler, mixed martial artist, and Ultimate Fighting Champion Matt “The Hammer” Hamill, who overcame the challenges of being hearing impaired to find both his power and the love of his life.
Audience Award – Documentary Feature (tie): Building Hope
Turk and Christy Pipkin manifest nothing less that a miracle when they travel to the mountains of East Africa to honor a pledge they made to Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Mathaai to design and build a school.
Audience Award – Documentary Feature (tie): Connected
Now that we’re living in the 21st century, where are we? Now that we’re all electronically connected, what are we supposed to do about that? Is it just a matter of sneaking off to the bathroom to check your emails on your smartphone, or are we caught in a new evolutionary stage as a species? The answer to all questions is “yes” in this cinematic essay by future-watcher Tiffany Shlain, the founder of the Webby Awards.
Audience Award – Documentary Feature (tie): Love Shines
Directed by Douglas Arrowsmith, this film follows Ron Sexsmith into the recording studio as he makes a bold move to invigorate his public image. He teams with legendary audio producer Bob Rock (that’s his real name), linked to Metallica, Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, and Motley Crue. What unfolds is fascinating.
Audience Award – Documentary World Cinema: Life in a Day
Directed by Academy Award winning director Kevin Macdonald, was filmed entirely by the 82,000 people from 192 countries, people who collectively shot more than 4.500 hours of video on the same day, July 24, 2010, and then sent it to YouTube, which then turned this experiment into an unforgettable 90 minute documentary.
Audience Award – Documentary Short: Sun City Picture House
Olivia Wilde and Maria Bello executive produced this powerful story about how, in only four days, residents of a post-earthquake tent city outside Port-au-Prince erect a movie house to life the spirits of and generate some laughter from children whose world was turned upside down.
Audience Award – Documentary Short World Cinema: Voice of the Xingu
Directed by Alfredo Villas Boas, born in Brazil and an avid student of Hawaiian culture, learned herbal medicine skills from Uncle Kaipo Kaneakua and wa‘a or canoe culture with Kimokeo Kapahulehua. He returns to the country of his birth inspired by his own ancestors, three brothers who were among the first white men to penetrate the wild forests of interior Brazil and who had the wisdom to fight for the future of the indigenous people. Orlando, Claudio, and Leonardo Villas Boas saw that a vast national reserve was created to protect the Kayapo Indians and their habitat. Now another generation returns to continue that good work.
Audience Award – Narrative Short: Hello Caller
Directed by Andrew Putschoegl, when a desperate woman calls a suicide help line, the man who answers turns her expectations (and ours) upside down. The funny and rather weird interaction works out just fine, in a way.
Audience Award – Special Prize for Free Speech: Page One: A Year in the Life of the New York Times
Direced by Andrew Rossi, the documentary goes right inside the gleaming citadel of America’s greatest newspaper, and it crackles with the same kind of tension you get from fictional press pix such as All The President’s Men or Deadline USA—the scoops, the rush against deadlines, the agonizing editorial decisions. The difference here is the truth. These “actors” are the actual journalists bylined in The New York Times. And the “plot” whirls around one of the most vexing issues of our day—can the newspaper as we know it possibly?
Audience Award – Special Prize for Green Cinema: The Last Mountain
Directed by Bill Hannely, this documentary follows a coal mining corporation and a tiny community vie for the last great mountain in Appalachia in a battle for the future of energy that affects us all.
Audience Award – Special Prize for Spirit of Aloha: Family of Wa’a
Join together for an astonishing, true and six years in the making voyage of discovery as an ‘ohana of paddlers—for the first time in recorded history—and led by Kimokeo Kapahulehua and inspired by kumu Keli’I Tau’a combine a steely combinations of commitment, peak physical conditioning and mind over matter to travel 1,650 miles from Hawai’I Island to Kure Attoll.
Audience Award – Special Prize for Movies Matter: Miss Representation
Directed by Jennifer Siebel Newsom, a hard hitting documentary about the impact that our culture’s runaway, deregulated, greed-driven media and advertising companies have had on the women, especially teenage girls, in America, is as eye-opening and important film.
Audience Award – Special Prize for Wake Up Call: Happy
Directed by Roko Belic, this documentary takes us on a compelling journey across the world in search of what really makes us happy. From the swamps of Louisiana to the slums of Kolkata, deeply personal stories weave together with insights from renowned experts to provide the keys to our most valued emotion.
Audience Award – Special Prize for Surf Cinema: A Deeper Shade of Blue
Directed by Jack McCoy, this documentary is an extremely detailed and informative study of the evolution of the surfboard and of surf culture, beginning and ending in Hawai‘i. It tells you everything you need and ought to know about the people and the innovations of the sport.
Audience Award – Special Prize for Spirit in Cinema (tie): Finding Joe
Directed by Patrick Solomon, the stories of mythology form a single narrative that is unquestionably true on the deepest level. That narrative gives us a metaphoric road map to personal heroism. And the man who so brilliantly read the map, Joseph Campbell, gets his celebration and explication here in this inspiring documentary about the great task of self-realization.
Special Prize for Spirit in Cinema (tie): I Am
Tom Shadyac, director of such comedy hits as Ace Ventura, Bruce Almighty, and The Nutty Professor, simply tumbled off his mountain bike, but that was enough. After recovery from post-concussion syndrome, he began giving away his stuff. He moved from a 17,000-square-foot palace to a 1,000-square-foot trailer home. Then he went around asking “significant minds” (Desmond Tutu, Howard Zinn, and Noam Chomsky among them) “what’s wrong with our world, and what can be done about it?” This documentary comprises their answers.