Maui Arts & Entertainment

2016 Maui Film Festival Complete Line-up

June 7, 2016, 6:00 AM HST
* Updated June 13, 12:29 PM
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Celestial Cinema. File image credit: Randy Jay Braun via Maui Film Festival.

Celestial Cinema. File image credit: Randy Jay Braun via Maui Film Festival.

Festivities surrounding the 2016 Maui Film Festival are planned and ready to be rolled out with screenings and special events taking place June 15 to 19, 2016, in Wailea.

Now in its 17th year, the festival features several venues including: the popular Celestial Cinema located at the Wailea Gold and Emerald Golf Course; the Toes-In-The-Sand Cinema at Wailea Beach; the Castle Theater at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center in Kahului; as well as culinary events, tributes and filmmaker panels.

The 2016 schedule of awards, screening schedule and culinary events includes the following:

Awards Presentations

Award ceremonies held throughout the event will honor:

  • Kelly Rohrbach with a Rising Star Award on Wednesday, June 15th, 7:45 p.m.;
  • Wyatt Russell with a Rising Star Awards on Wednesday, June 15th, 7:45 p.m.;
  • Michael B. Jordan with the festival’s Rainmaker Award on Thursday, June 16th, 7:45 p.m.;
  • Viola Davis with a Navigator Award on Friday, June 17th, 7:45 p.m.; and
  • Bryan Cranston with a Navigator Award on Saturday, June 18th, 7:45 p.m.
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All awards will be presented on respective dates before the double feature at the event’s Celestial Cinema in Wailea.

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Special Events

  • Taste of Summer Opening Party: Wednesday, June 15, 5 to 7 p.m. Oceanside at Molokini Gardens at the Grand Wailea. Each ticket includes admission to Wednesday Night’s Celestial Cinema Double Feature.  Menu/Tickets: $170 online; $195 at the door
  • Taste of Chocolate: Friday, June 17, 9 to 11 p.m. at the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea.  Dress up and experience the extraordinary flavors and sensual experience known as the Taste of Chocolate. Live Music by Cool Steel Band. Each Taste of Chocolate ticket includes admission to any Celestial Cinema Double Feature of your choosing. *This special event is restricted to those age 21 years and older. Menu/Tickets: $170 online; $195 at the door
  • Taste of Wailea Saturday, June 18, 4:30 to 7 p.m. at the Leadbetter Private Golf Academy Wailea Gold & Emerald Golf Course.  The Taste of Wailea is described as the “crown jewel event of the Maui Film Festival’s culinary arts celebrations.”  This year’s event includes a “Best of The Best of Wailea’s Best Chefs” with live music by Bita and Klaudia of ManaBrasil. Each Taste of Wailea ticket includes admission to Saturday Night’s Celestial Cinema Double Feature.  *This special event is restricted to those age 21 years and over. Menu/Tickets: $170 online; $195 at the door

Celestial Cinema Screenings

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

  • 8 p.m.: Captain Fantastic: (Trailer) Fresh from standing ovations and Oscar® buzz at Sundance and Cannes, Viggo Mortensen leads a pitch perfect cast as a patriarch with a mind-of-his-own, home schooling his close knit family of six kids in the woods of the Pacific Northwest by teaching them how to live a life in touch with true love for each other, respect for the land that sustains them and the majestic natural beauty that they call home.
  • 10 p.m.: Folk Hero & Funny Guy: (Trailer) Folk Hero & Funny Guy is a music-infused spin on the road-trip buddy comedy.  Recently dumped by his fiancée and with a stagnating standup routine, aspiring comedian-slash-copywriter Paul (Alex Karpovsky, Girls) is stuck. The manager of the club where he performs suggests he take some time off to update his comedy material.
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Thursday, June 16, 2016

  • 8 p.m.: Mad Dogs: (Trailer) During Tow-In Fever, three Brazilians challenged the world’s biggest waves and wrote a whole new chapter in surfing history. Danilo Cuoto, Marcio Freire and Yuri Soledade, who all migrated to Hawai’i in the 90’s in search of perfect waves took the big-wave surfers’ challenge a notch higher, resolving to paddle out to Jaws, while refusing to use support vehicles to assist with tow-ins or rescues.
  • 8 p.m.: Saltwater Buddha (following ‘Mad Dogs’): Whether you live for ocean and love it beyond words or are too freaked out about sharks to ever get wet, Jaimal Yogis’ story — from jungle communes to zen monasteries to the vast Pacific and beyond — is the most deeply beautiful and wise cinematic immersion in the mysterious pull and healing powers of the ocean ever seen on the Big Screen.
  • 10 p.m.: It Ain’t Pretty: (Trailer) A documentary about the challenges and triumphs of female big wave surfers fighting sexism in the water, in competition, in the media and in the surf industry with the support of a closely-knit community of like-minded women.
  • 10 p.m.: One Way: A Journey to This Moment (Trailer) (following ‘It Ain’t Pretty’): Perhaps the most important film at this year’s Festival. You’ll thank yourself for diving into the deeply powerful message of how Michelle is living her life while finding solace in the healing powers of her love of family, the ocean and the moment.

Friday, June 17, 2016

  • 8 p.m.: Rio I Love You: A visually stunning celebration of 10 unique and universal expressions of love through the eyes of visionary Academy Award nominated and winning and directors of 21 GRAMS, CITY OF GOD, THE GREAT BEAUTY, YOUTH and more, in this lovingly crafted look at contemporary stories set in Rio de Janeiro, to many the sexiest city on Planet Earth.
  • 10 p.m.: Tanna: (Trailer) The eternal story of young lovers breaking all the rules and risking everything to be together is beautifully told in the first-ever feature shot entirely in the South Pacific nation of Vanuatu. Based on true dramatic events and brilliantly performed by non-professionals drawn from communities whose history is represented on screen, this tribal time machine of a movie will leave you speechless.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

  • 8 p.m.: Alex & Eve: (Trailer) This timely love story set in Australia but as current as today’ s headlines in the USA, is a perfect post-Taste of Wailea slice of longing, lusting, laughter and loving layered cake. Star-crossed Greek and Muslim lovers challenge the old ways of their cultures to find true love. Hailed as “Australia’ s answer to Romeo and Juliet”, albeit without the tragic ending. Genuinely funny and fun.
  • 10 p.m.: Nobody Walks in LA: (Trailer) Nobody Walks in LA is the story of two old friends who, faced with decisions that cannot wait, put their lives on pause for a day and do the unthinkable…walk around Los Angeles. Putting aside a failing engagement on the one hand and a cross country move on the other – Miles (Adam Shapiro) and Becca (Kim Shaw) rediscover not just the streets of Los Angeles… but one another.

Sunday, June 19, 2016: (*On Sunday, SHOREBREAK will replace HUNT FOR WILDERPEOPLE at 8pm.  HUNT FOR WILDERPEOPLE has been moved to Wed 6/15 at the Castle Theater.)

  • 8 p.m.: The More Things Change: Gerry Lopez: (Trailer) When Gerry Lopez first surfed Uluwatu, the fabled wave was pristine, magical and empty. He returned 40 years later to find it bustling and developed. After a week of surfing and yoga, however, Gerry tapped into a spirit of place that continues to endure. It is obvious that a lot has changed since surfers first discovered Bali and Uluwatu in the seventies. Gerry’s message is that change is inevitable, and we should see it, accept it, live in the moment and positively guide that change.
  • 8 p.m.: SHOREBREAK: The Clark Little Story (Trailer) (following Gerry Lopez): Documentary on professional photographer Clark Little – from botanical garden manager 9 years ago to becoming a world famous photographer for capturing the beauty of the Hawaii’s powerful shorebreak waves from inside impact zone. The film features heart pounding up-close action in the North Shore waves, insight into how the shots are captured, shark diving without cages, and of course, how the unexpected story of becoming a photographer unfolded. Various shorebreak surfers and bodyboarders make appearances. Includes stories told by Jack Johnson, Kelly Slater and Clark’s older brother, big wave surfer Brock Little. Filmed on the North Shore of Oahu. Directed by Peter King.
  • 10 p.m.: Chapter One (plays with Shorebreak: The Clark Little Story): Pete Cabrinha and Robby Naish join entrepreneur extraordinaire and kite-boarder Richard Branson, alongside a who’s who of today’s champions, including Ruben Lenten, Jesse Richmond and Aaron Hadlow in this around-the-world adventure to explore — by whatever name you know it — the thrills, power and allure of Kiteboarding, Kitesurfing, Kiting or simply “Are You Kidding Me, This Is Insane…And I Love It!”. Courtesy of EYEFORCE in association with Red Bull Media.
  • 10 p.m.: Voyage Into the Depths of Kanaloa (folowing ‘Chapter One’): One Sailing Vessel, 15 Teenagers, 1,200 Nautical Miles, 4 Ancient Islands and One Epic Adventure. Lead by Bonnie Kahape’ a-Tanner, 15 students train for months to prepare themselves for a 10 day open ocean sail to Papahanaumokuakea. A dream that began years before would soon be realized aboard the 96 foot schooner named Makani Olu.

Toes-In-The-Sand Cinema

This free event takes place on Saturday, June 18, 2016 at 8 p.m. at Wailea Beach below the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea. It is open to all and will present four “heartfelt, not-to-be-missed, culturally important and just plain fun films shot in Hawai’i, about subjects of interest to Hawai’i.” The films are all made by filmmakers who call Hawai’i home.  Films include:

  • God Is a Dog: a story about the love and connectedness between a man and a dog. This short explores the questions, ‘how will you spend your last day’, and ‘just who is the master’?
  • ʻĀina: That Which Feeds Us: The film highlights a simple yet effective path for addressing some of the most pressing environmental and health crises facing the island of Kauaʻi – and the entire world.
  • The Roots of ‘Ulu: The film will transport the viewer from the mythological origins of ulu, or breadfruit, to the Polynesian voyaging canoes that brought ulu from Tahiti to Hawaii, up through the present day efforts of native practitioners and agricultural experts who have a convergent vision of the ulu tree playing an important role in cultural preservation and food sustainability for Hawaii’s future.
  • Sam Choy’s Poke to da Max: Former Food Network Chef and Godfather of Poké, Chef Sam Choy, was a major factor in Poké’s rise in popularity worldwide and now his new Hawaiian food trucks have arrived in Seattle, Washington. Chef Choy and colleagues share how Poké is a true taste of Hawaii and how this distinctly Hawaiian dish has spread the Spirit of Aloha from the islands to around the world.

Tickets to the Toes-In-The-Sand Cinema are FREE. No ticket necessary.

Maui Arts & Cultural Center Screenings

  • Wednesday, June 15, 2016
  • 8 p.m.: Hunt for the Wilderpeople: (Trailer) (moved to the MACC from original Celestial Cinema venue) Sam Neil masterfully co-stars alongside newcomer, and human spark plug, Julian Dennison in this coming-of-age story set and beautifully shot in New Zealand. It’s an infectiously entertaining crowd pleaser that’s equal parts hilarious adventure and touching crowd-pleaser about a boy saved from a life of foster care by the least likely person. Directed by Taika Waititi and currently the top grossing film in New Zealand.
  • 6 p.m.: Southside with You: (Trailer) Forget politics and just cozy up to this spirited love-at-first-date, if not first sight, Michelle and Barack love story that’s been favorably compared to the Richard Linklater classics BEFORE SUNRISE and BEFORE SUNSET.  Republican, Democrat, Independent, whatevah.  Forget the election for 94 minutes and just enjoy the moment lightning strikes.
  • 8 p.m.: History of Now: (Trailer) This deeply felt roller coaster romance is set in Vienna and Morocco.  It’s about falling in love, falling out of love and falling into a yearning for what was in a one year later happenstance meeting and reminiscence.
  • Thursday, June 16, 2016:
  • 4 p.m.: My Blind Brother: (Trailer) Nick Kroll, Jenny Slate and Adam Scott co-star in this wackily unpredictable laugh out loud irreverent romantic comedy about two brothers — one a blind athletic narcissist and the other going beyond the call to help his brother triumph over adversity — somehow wind up falling in love with the same woman. A perfectly unpredictable heart warmer.
  • 6 p.m.: It Had to be You: First comes love, then comes…some personal sh#t to work through.  Chris Columbus executive produced this whimsical, romantic, unpredictable romcom about a jingle writer’s off the wall reaction to an unexpected marriage proposal from her longtime boyfriend.
  • 8 p.m.: Alive & Kicking: (Trailer) This good-time documentary travelts the world to peel back the curtain on the pulsating, sensual, free-spirited and addicted to magically flying across the dance floor denizens of the world-wide swing dance phenomenon. It’ s Sexy, Addicting, Surprising, Life-Changing! Happiness is only a few steps away.

Friday, June 17, 2016:

  • 4 p.m.: The Seer: (Trailer) A cinematic portrait of the changing landscapes and shifting values of rural America in the era of industrial agriculture, as seen through the mind’s eye of farmer and poet Wendell Berry. Winner of the SXSW Film Festival Documentary Feature Cinematography Award, directed by Laura Dunn and executively produced by Terrence Malik and Robert Redford.
  • 6 p.m.: Seed: The Untold Story: (Trailer):  As many irreplaceable seed varieties disappear, this visually arresting doc tells the story of Humankind’s 12,000-year-plus relationship with seeds thru the lives of farmers, scientists, and indigenous seed keepers who are protecting the diversity of our agricultural heritage.
  • 8 p.m.: Stereotypically You: This is a charming soul-searching romantic comedy starring Aaron Tveit about a heart-broken millennial dancing around the edges of what he needs to do to break the chains of his hallucination-fueled, post-breakup quest to find both new love and himself.
  • 9:30 p.m.: Strike a Pose: The male dancers famously showcased in Madonna’s Blond Ambition tour and “Truth or Dare” doc reunite a quarter-century later to look back at the iconic value that the out-and-proud image, original diversity-embracing film imbued them with as representatives of the gay community alongside their individual struggles afterward.

Saturday, June 18, 2016:

  • 1 p.m.: Boy & The World: (Trailer): A multiple film festival award winner and Academy Award® nominee that beats with the heart and soul of the people of Brazil with stunning visuals, asoundscape of pan-flute, samba, and Brazilian hip-hop mixing with the whirling carnival colors and exploding fireworks.
  • 3 p.m.: Sweet Bean: An ode to the virtues of patience, tolerance and bean-filled pancakes that is a potent stew of feel-good food porn, an autumn-years tearjerker about an unlikely bond between a solitary confectioner with no sweet tooth and a plucky septuagenarian with culinary magic in her frail fingertips.
  • 5 p.m.: Sonic Sea: The oceans of Earth are a symphony where sound flows within and surrounding all marine mammals like a never-ending heavy-metal concert with no access to earplugs.  Put simply, it makes life for marine mammals both suck and dangerous to their very survival.
  • 6:30 p.m.: In Search of Balance: (Trailer) From the islands of Hawaii to rural villages of Italy, physician, author and ‘health explorer’, Dr. Daphne Miller guides us through conversations with scientists, doctors, farmers and personal stories of healing to uncover the myriad ways we are connected to everything around us.
  • 8 p.m.: Going Futhur: (Trailer) Join Zane Kesey, son of Ken Kesey the author of “One Flew Over the Cooku’s Nest” and ringleader of the Merry Pranksters and their early 1960’s Electric Kool-Aid Acid Tests — that inspire American counterculture to this day.

Sunday, June 19, 2016:

  • 2 p.m.: Short Film Showcase: Mining Poems or Odes; Unlikely Temptations; The Art of Flying; High Chaparral; My Brother’s Keeper; Sandorkraut; Stop the Burning; Girl Night Stand; and The Shining Star of Losers Everywhere
  • 4:30 p.m.: The Great Transmission: (Trailer) What does it take to keep ancient knowledge alive? Tibetan culture has deep roots, but the turmoil of the 20th century has left its vast text tradition in jeopardy. This is a story of an historic act of cultural preservation, chronicling one refugee lama’s lifelong efforts to preserve, print and return to his people, the sacred books that are their precious heritage.
  • 6 p.m.: The Last Dalai Lama?  (Trailer) The Dalai Lama thinks this rarified wisdom belongs to the world, so twenty years ago, he challenged a select group of world-renowned Neuroscientists, and Mind/Brain researchers to look into the workings of the mind, and prove scientifically that the “Tibetan Buddhist technologies” for over coming the afflictive emotions, are skills that can be learned by anyone.

Additional scheduled screenings and events can be found on the Maui Film Festival website.

Tickets and passes for the festival are also on-sale now at the Maui Film Festival website.

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