Maui Arts & Entertainment

Maui Film Festival 2012 Top 5 Flick Picks

June 13, 2012, 8:01 AM HST
* Updated June 13, 12:45 PM
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By Madeline Ziecker


Celestial Cinema in Wailea. Photo courtesy of Maui Film Festival.

The island is buzzing with excitement for the 13th Annual Maui Film Festival which starts tonight – Wednesday, June 13 in south Maui at Wailea Beach Marriott Resort (Celestial Cinema) and the MACC’s Castle Theater.

The festival features five film-packed days with an impressive and diverse schedule of cinema, food, musical performances, and celebrity appearances. This year, special guests being honored include Josh Radnor, Tim Bonython, Mark Magidson, Ron Fricke, James Mardsen and Elizabeth Banks.

Films at the festival’s Celestial Cinema in Wailea are shown on a 50-foot-wide screen under the stars to take advantage of south Maui’s balmy summer nights.

Culinary events surrounding the festival include a Twilight Reception ($125) at Capische? on Wednesday, June 13 at 5:30 p.m.; Taste of Chocolate ($125) at Four Seasons Resort Maui Wailea on Friday, June 15 at 10 p.m.; and Taste of Wailea ($120) at David Leadbetter Golf Academy on Saturday, June 16 at 4:30 p.m.


Three filmmakers panels and workshops will be held on Saturday, June 16 at 11 a.m., 12:15 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. at Wailea Beach Marriott Resort. Each panel is one hour long and costs $10 for entry.


The festivities will wrap up on Sunday, June 17 with one last bash – Sunday Starry Night Moon Dance ($75) at Mulligans on the Blue on Sunday, June 17 at 10 p.m.

See Maui Now’s pick of the festival’s top five films (one per day) playing at the festival’s Celestial Cinema.

Courtesy image.

Wednesday, June 13


Big Easy Express at 10 p.m.

Maui music buffs – this is your movie of the week. Three old-fashioned roots-rock bands Mumford & Sons, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes, and Old Crow Medicine Show join in a documentary film about their recent collaboration on tour.

The bands are followed on a train trip from Oakland to New Orleans, with five major concert stops on what is described in the film preview as “the tour of dreams.”

Thursday, June 14

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Immersion at 8 p.m.

One word: barrels. Australian surf cinematographer Tim Bonython presents one of his (literally) biggest films, featuring breath-taking footage of some of the world’s most monstrous surf breaks in 2011.

Maui gets some glamor shots in the film at big wave winter swell spot Peahi (Jaws).

Big-wave surfers appear in interviews throughout the film, including Kelly Slater, Gerry Lopez, Mark Mathews, and Tom Carroll.

Friday, June 15

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Samsara at 8 p.m.

Watch the preview for Samsara, then imagine it on a 50-foot screen. The high image quality and cultural richness of this film is sure to draw a large Friday night audience to Celestial Cinema.

The entire film was shot in high-resolution 70mm format for over five years, in 25 different countries.

The intention of Samsara (a Tibetan word referring to the revolving wheel of earthly experience) is to give audiences such a sensory stimulation that they fall into a contemplative, then meditative state.

There’s no plot, and no narration – just music, breathtaking images, and your interpretation.

Courtesy image.

Saturday, June 16

Friends With Kids at 8 p.m.

Some of Hollywood’s best big-screen comedy actors come together in a film about relationships, having babies, and living in the big city (NYC).

The film includes some of the key performers from the riotous film Bridesmaids like Jennifer Westfeldt, and John Ham, who plays Donald Draper in the popular TV series Mad Men.

Courtesy image.

Sunday, June 17

People Like Us at 8 p.m.

Maui Film Festival’s “Navigation Award” recipient Elizabeth Banks c0-stars in a film about a single mother who is suddenly met with some emotional family revelations and $150,000 in cash.

Other noted actors who appear in the film include Chris Pine, Olivia Wilde, and Michelle Pfeiffer.

Celestial Cinema tickets are $22 in advance and $24 at the door. Celestial Passes (four admissions) are $88. Castle Theater entry is $12 per person; Rising Star Passes are $44 for four admissions. 

For further information on Maui Film Festival’s Celestial Cinema and other events, visit

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