You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Maui Film Fests Unspools Pics With Solutions

It's back to the earth and the ocean in Hawaii

If it bleeds, it leads. So goes the mantra of myriad media outfits, websites and — yes — even film fests.
But not the Maui Film Festival. Founder-director Barry Rivers is making sure that this year’s sprocket opera in Hawaii skews to the lighter side and enlivens attendees.

“We’re looking for films that provide solutions,” Rivers says. “It’s really important that for the effort it takes to make this festival happen every year, the effort is expended in the direction of trying to offer an alternative vision for the future.”

That’s why Maui’s 14th installment, per Rivers, is a “tempestuous teenager” stocked with pics that will simultaneously promote creating, as well as trusting in, a better tomorrow. The fest, running June 12-16, will unspool 28 features and 18 shorts from France, Mexico, New Guinea and Australia, among other countries, and will include pics that cover topics ranging from military violence to sustainable communities and honeybee extinction.

Rivers and company received roughly 1,000 submissions this year, and narrowed the haul down to an eclectic mix of pics such as “Muscle Shoals,” “My Awkward Sexual Adventure” and “Big Sur.” Of interest is Joss Whedon’s take on “Much Ado About Nothing,” as well as docu “The Short Game,” which tracks eight wunderkind competitors at the World Championship of Junior Golf.

Fest is set to open with the preem of “Hawaiian: The Legend of Eddie Aikau,” which profiles one of islands’ most revered surfers and heroes, and “20 Feet From Stardom,” a docu that shines the spotlight on the backup singers who helped shape 20th century pop music.

This year, Maui fetes a stunning troika of actresses: Jessica Chastain (Nova Award), Kirsten Dunst (Pathfinder Award) and Brie Larson (Rising Star Award). Fest will also honor Eddie Aikau, repped by his family, and navigator Nainoa Thompson for their leading personal journeys in service of greater good. “We’ve always talked about honoring luminaries,” Rivers says. “Not just celebrities.”

Many signature events and spots return this year, including Seaside Cinema, a toes-in-the-sand venue that doubles as a “town center.” Additionally, a series of panels will take place at the Wailea Beach Marriott Resort’s Mei Court, which Rivers has dubbed the “cinema cathedral.”

Confabs are skedded to cover a behind-the-scenes look at Aikau, the art of making a short and indie pic production, among other topics. Four culinary arts celebrations round out the festivities, including a “hip luau menu” for opening night and other Hawaiian favorites. But whether it’s the food, the tributes or the “psychiatrist” that Rivers calls the vast Pacific Ocean, the founder-director is mainly concerned with broadcasting change.
“More than ever,” he says, “I felt there was a need to step it up this year … and put the festival’s money where its mouth was.”

More Film

  • The Kings Man

    Film News Roundup: Disney Sets 'The King's Man' Spy Comedy for February

    In today’s film news roundup, “The King’s Man” and “A Kid From Coney Island” get release dates, and “Barry” star Anthony Carrigan joins “Bill & Ted Face the Music.” RELEASE DATE Disney has set its Fox spy comedy prequel “The King’s Man” for release on an unspecified date in February. Disney made the announcement Wednesday [...]

  • Shyrakshy: Guardian of the Light

    Shanghai Film Review: 'Shyrakshy: Guardian of the Light'

    The bombastic English title might sound like it describes some comic book sci-fi epic, but in “Shyrakshy: Guardian of the Light” our hero does not wear a cape but a weathered cap, and the light he guards is not an interstellar death ray but the flickering beam of a battered old movie projector. Prominent Kazakh [...]

  • Wanda Film's Zeng Maojun

    Shanghai: China's One-Mighty Wanda Casts Itself in Role of Survivor

    The soundtrack for the introductory showreel at Wednesday evening’s Shanghai press event announcing Wanda Pictures’ annual line-up was aspirational and strangely defiant.  It began with Nina Simone crooning, “It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life for me, and I’m feeling good,” and then continued with “Survivor” by Destiny’s Child. “You [...]

  • 'The Souvenir' Costume Designer Fashioned 1980s'

    'The Souvenir' Costume Designer Put a Decadent Twist on Opulent ’80s Style

    Set against the backdrop of London’s early-1980s cultural renaissance, British auteur Joanna Hogg’s exquisitely sculpted and critically acclaimed “The Souvenir,” which A24 has been widening in platform release for the past month, follows film student Julie (Honor Swinton Byrne) and her gradually destructive romance with the magnetic Anthony (Tom Burke). “We didn’t want a film [...]

  • Anne Hathaway

    Crew Member Stabbed on Set of Anne Hathaway's 'The Witches' in England

    A crew member has been stabbed in the neck on the set of Anne Hathaway’s “The Witches” remake, which is being shot at the Warner Bros. Studios stages in Leavesden, Hertfordshire. The Hertfordshire Constabulary said in a statement that the victim was hospitalized and his alleged attacker was arrested. The two men are believed to [...]

  • paranormal-activity-1

    Paramount, Blumhouse Announce Seventh 'Paranormal Activity' Movie

    Paramount Pictures and Jason Blum’s Blumhouse are teaming on a seventh “Paranormal Activity” movie. Paramount chief Jim Gianopulos announced the untitled project Wednesday during the studio’s CineEurope presentation in Barcelona. Plot details are also under wraps. The franchise was launched with 2007’s “Paranormal Activity,” a micro-budget film about a young couple who had who moved [...]

  • Steve Buscemi

    Steve Buscemi Joins Judd Apatow's Upcoming Pete Davidson Comedy (EXCLUSIVE)

    Steve Buscemi, Kevin Corrigan, Domenick Lombardozzi and Mike Vecchione have rounded out the cast of Universal’s untitled Judd Apatow comedy starring Pete Davidson. Marisa Tomei, Bill Burr, Bel Powley, Maude Apatow and Pamela Adlon had been previously announced. Apatow is directing from a script he co-wrote with Davidson and Dave Sirus. The film is a [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content