Maui Film Festival To Kick Off Wednesday With 40+ Features
by Sandra Ogle
The fifth-annual Maui Film Festival rolls into Wailea, Hawaii this week with an outdoor screening of Universal Pictures' family film "Two Brothers" at the Tommy Bahama Celestial Cinema. A performance by contemporary Hawaiian musicians Barry Flanagan and Eric Gilliom from the band HAPA will precede the screening.
More than 40 full length films from 12 countries were chosen for this year's five-day festival. Film highlights include: the French comedy "Love Me if You Dare"; Tod Williamson's "The Door in the Floor" starring Kim Basinger; and the Sundance Film Festival World Cinema audience award winner "Seducing Doctor Lewis." Scottie Gissel's film about a young married couple dealing with the husband's recent paralyzation, "June & Orlando," will have its world premiere Friday at the McCoy Theater.
Other films include festival circuit regulars "Garden State," "Maria Full of Grace," and "Control Room." Featured docs include Louis Schwartzberg's "America's Heart and Soul" and the surfing film "The Ride," which will be screened at the rooftop Maui Digital Skydome. In addition to these films, a short film showcase during the festival will screen 15 shorts.
The late-night silent film Charlie Chaplin celebration, accompanied live by Maui keyboardist Les Adam, will be held at the outdoor SandDance Theater on Wailea Beach on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights at 10 p.m. This year, the annual event will feature Chaplin's films "The Cure," "The Rink," and "The Tramp," among others. The bash is free to festival goers and the general public.
Several panels will be held during the week with themes ranging from "NASA: Shooting for the Stars with Digital Technology" to "Xtreme Filmmaking." Other special attractions include the first annual Cosmic Comedy Club event and a sand sculpture contest on Father's Day on Wailea Beach.
In tribute presentations held throughout the week, the festival will honor actress Angela Bassett, comedian Bill Maher, actor Woody Harrelson, and producer Ted Hope. The closing night party on June 20, during which the Spirit of Aloha Audience Awards will be presented, will have music provided by the local Maui band Dr. Nat and Rio Ritmo.
[For more information, please visit: www.mauifilmfestival.com.]