Maui Arts & Entertainment


June 15, 2009, 3:21 PM HST
* Updated August 11, 3:07 PM
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The Maui Film Festival celebrates its 10th Anniversary with festivities running from Wednesday, June 17, 2009 through Sunday the 21st at various venues on the Valley Isle.


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Part time Maui Resident Willie Nelson will be honored at the Celestial Cinema this Friday with the festival’s Maverick Award for his artistic and political expression.  The award presentation will be followed by the world premiere of One Peace at a Time- a film on solutions to global problems from director Turk Pipkin, with music from Ben Harper and Jack Johnson and appearances by Willie Nelson.

Also being honored this year is Zooey Deschanel who will receive the festival’s Nova Award on Thursday at the SandDance Theatre.  The award honors a film artist whose stunningly original and seamless performances consistently infuse each character they play with unique insight and wisdom.  Past recipients include Felicity Huffman and Claire Danes.  The Festival will also screen Deschanel’s film (500) Days of Summer from Fox Searchlight on its Closing Night.

Another world premier screening happening at the Maui Film Festival is Cash Crop.  The film is directed by Adam Ross, and takes place on a road trip into the heart of the Emerald Triangle in Northern California-a region where marijuana is grown in abundance, where it is the number one cash crop, and where (in some places) it is the mainstay of the rural economy.

Festival Director Barry Rivers said, “We’re very excited to see the Festival mark ten years of showcasing some of the best cinema from around the world.  With the changes that have been taking place in the independent film world, we searched far and wide to develop this year’s selection of uplifting quality programming, which we’re proud to showcase.”


Highwater will open this year’s Festival at the under-the-stars Celestial Cinema, an open air, Dolby Digital-equipped outdoor theater, with a 50-foot wide screen, located at the Wailea Gold & Emerald Golf Course, on Wednesday, June 17.  The documentary, directed and narrated by Dana Brown, takes place at the 2005 Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, North Shore O’ahu.  The film stars Kelly Slater, Tom Curren, Rochelle Ballard, Andy Irons, Jon Jon Florence, Carrissa Moore, Malik Joyeux, Mark Healy, Poncho Sullivan, Kalani Chapman, Sunny Garcia, Pat O’Connell, Sofia Mulanovich, Chelsea Georgeson and Eric Haas.


The Oscar-winning foreign language film Departures will screen on opening night, Wednesday, June 17 at the Castle Theatre.  Stephen P. Jarchow, chairman of Here Media and Regent Releasing, which distributed the film, will attend to introduce the movie.  The plot follows a cellist whose orchestra has been dissolved who returns to his hometown and winds up taking a job as a funeral professional who prepares deceased bodies for burial.  The film, which earned myriad other worldwide awards, follows his profound and sometimes comical journey with death as he uncovers the wonder, joy and meaning of life and living.

The Festival will close with the Celestial Cinema screening of the Kristopher Belman-directed More Than a Game from Lionsgate on Sunday, June 21.  Led by future NBA superstar and 2009 Most Valuable Player LeBron James, and a charismatic yet inexperienced player’s father, five talented young basketball players from Akron, Ohio star in this remarkable true-life coming-of-age story about friendship and loyalty which leads them from a decrepit inner-city gym to the doorstep of a national high school championship.

Other films screening as part of the Festival include:


Documentaries:  Art Officially Favored; Automorphosis; Back to the Garden: Flower Power Comes Full Circle; Between the Folds; Blue Gold: World Water Wars; Cash Crop; Dirt! The Movie; Facing Ali; Highwater; Houston – We Have a Problem; More Than a Game; Mustang: A Journey of Transformation; One Peace at a Time; Rock Prophecies; Saint Misbehavin’ The Wavy Gravy Movie; Unmistaken Child; Waveriders; What About Me: 1 Giant Leap; What Would It Look Like; The Women and the Waves; and Youssou N’dour: I Bring What I Love.

Features:  (500) Days of Summer; Adam; The Cove; Departures; Lightbulb; Paper Heart; Sita Sings the Blues; and Splinterheads.

Shorts:  Bewick’s Mambo; Bhutan: The Last Dragon Kingdom; Gerald’s Last Day; Hawai’i 3D; The Interior Monologue of Gill The Goldfish Film; Jabbawaki; Keao; Mutt; My Date From Hell; The Monday Before Thanksgiving; Photograph of Jesus; Processed People; Spleenectomy; Streak; War Dance Returns; and The Windfisherman.

For a complete list of Festival films, please visit .

In addition to the Celestial Cinema, The Maui Film Festival will again offer complimentary screenings at the toes-in-the-sand, oceanside SandDance Theatre on Wailea Beach, below the Four Seasons Resort. Indoor screenings take place at The Castle Theater and the McCoy Theater at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center (MACC) in Kahului.

(Posted by Wendy OSHER © 2009; Images courtesy the Maui Film Festival)

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