Three open air theaters and sixty American independent and world cinema offerings are on tap for the 2006 Maui Film Festival, taking place June 14 - 18 on the Hawaiian island. Patrick Creadon's doc "Wordplay" will be among the fest's opening night films, which will screen simultaneously at various locations on the island. In addition to the film line up, the fest will also fete actors Michelle Yeoh with its "Rainmaker Award," while Patricia Clarkson will receive the "Pathfinder Award," and Jessica Biel will take the "Shining Star Award." John C. Reilly will also travel to Maui to receive the event's "Navigator Award."
Victor Salva's "Peaceful Warrior" will also be among the fest's early screeners. Starring Nick Nolte and Scott Mechlowicz, the film, based on the novel by Dan Millman, is the story of a college gymnast whose life changes after a chance encounter with a stranger.
Sundance 2006 fav "Half Nelson" by Ryan Fleck is also slated for the event. The film, starring Ryan Gosling, centers on a Brooklyn teacher who is a committed educator by day, but also harbors a secret crack habit by night. Davis Guggenheim's riveting Sundance and Cannes doc "An Inconvenient Truth" will screen in Maui. The film features former Vice President Al Gore in his appeal to fight global warming and his passionate appeal to remedy environmental disaster.
Tribeca 2006 doc "A Flock of Dodos: The Evolution-Intelligent Design Circus" by scientist-turned-filmmaker Randy Olson is also Maui-bound. The film spotlights the evolution vs. "intelligent design" debate through interviews with members of both sides of the debate in an entertaining format. Also hailing from the Tribeca is Deborah Scranton's doc, "The War Tapes." The film contains the stories of individual American soldiers who were given cameras to document their experiences in Iraq and their eventual return home. The film won the best doc prize at the Tribeca Film Festival in May.
SXSW Film Festival doc "Oil Crash" by Basil Gelpke and Ray McCormack turns the spotlight on America and the world's oil addiction. The film features interviews with scientists, oil company consultants and politicians who say society's dependence on oil will result in an ultimate breakdown because the resource is being rapidly depleted.
"This year's festival sizzles with a wealth of features, documentaries and shorts that highlight our ongoing commitment to the presentation of compassionate vision and life-affirming storytelling," commented Maui Film Festival director Barry Rivers in a statement. "Several of these films [including] 'Passing the Gift: Malama Honokowai,' 'Hawaii Slam,' 'Letting Go,' and 'Q's Quest' will be of particular interest to the people of Hawaii."
[For more information and a full Maui Film Festival line up, visit the event's website.]