“Cannes, Telluride, Sundance, Maui!” Occasionally when you are driving around Maui, you will see this bumper sticker. Did you know that Maui has become a famous film festival destination? Thanks to the efforts of event organizers Barry and Stella Rivers, local and visiting film fans have been able to enjoy top film festivals on Maui for more than 11 years.
Several things make the Wailea Film Festival unique. The main venue – the Celestial Cinema – located at the Wailea Golf Club, features a huge screen, ear-popping sound system, and of course, stars. That’s right; movies are shown outdoors with the gorgeous Maui skies overhead. In fact, each evening’s show begins with mood-setting star speeches hosted by Harriet Witt. Also, local cultural groups frequently stage brief hula shows, chants, or Hawaiian-inspired music. The appreciative outdoor crowd sprawls out on blankets or low beach chairs to enjoy one of the coolest movie-watching experiences on the planet.
Maui’s film festival specially showcases independent, artistic, and uplifting movies spanning a range of settings, moods, and themes. This year, the festival invites us to “Create the Future”. While the films screen at several locations, special events are scheduled in between the days and nights of the festival. Fans can taste wine, sample gourmet food, try an evening of chocolate, or just mix with visiting film makers and movie stars.
To check out this year’s movie selections and events, go to www.mauifilmfestival.com
The Wailea Film Festival opens Wednesday June 15 and continues through Sunday June 19. If you are already on Maui, open up your schedule for some movie fun. Those of you off-island, book a flight for a week of cinematic paradise!