2008 Maui Film Festival: Brosnan, Quaid, Madsen & Huffman to Attend

2008 Maui Film Festival: Brosnan, Quaid, Madsen & Huffman to Attend

It's that time again: When the postcard-perfect beaches and resorts of Wailea host the Maui Film Festival. Starting this Wednesday, June 11, more celebrities than usual descend upon the Four Seasons Resort to walk the red carpet, and promote whatever film they have due to release. Let it be said that festival founder Barry Rivers and his tireless staff organize one heck of a festival, complete with culinary events, wine tastings, directors' panels, Q&A sessions with the A-listers and, best of all, outdoor screenings on the Wailea Golf Course.

This year, the celebrities announced their attendance more than a few days prior to stepping off their private jets in Kahului, which is a change of pace. Thus far, we have confirmation that Pierce Brosnan, Dennis Quaid, Felicity Huffman and Virginia Madsen will shine their pearly whites for cameras, journalists and fans throughout the weekend. Maui resident (and surfer of unsurfable waves) Laird Hamilton will also be in attendance, promoting his latest surf documentary.

Brosnan, best known as James Bond (and Remington Steele) just wrapped shooting the silver screen edition of Mamma Mia, certainly an out-of-the-box role for the dashing Irishman. Quaid, whose career has spanned nearly 35 year, currently has a half-dozen projects in the can, and will surely be looking for some R&R whilst on Maui. Huffman, who is married to actor William H. Macy, is currently filming The Politician's Wife, while undoubtedly enjoying her success with Desperate Housewives. Madsen recently wrapped shooting the yet-to-be-named Amelia Earhart picture that is due out in 2009, in which she has a leading role. She may be best known for her role in the comedic wine flick, Sideways.

If you've never been to a Maui Film Festival, allow us to illuminate the highlights. Sitting in a lounge chair at the SandDance Theater, waves gently lapping a few dozen feet from the screen, is a truly unique opportunity. The Celestial Cinema—a Dolby digital surround sound experience set on a hillside on the Wailea Golf Course becomes the most spectacular theater—complete with nighttime sky above. Sponsored booths offer food and beverage to movie-goers, who have the option of staying for a double feature.

The Taste of Wailea event on Saturday, June 14th, is a three-hour culinary and wine extravaganza that brings Maui's top chef out of their respective kitchens. Also on the Wailea Golf Course, the event is a who's-who in the restaurant, wine, media, tourism and resort industries, as well as a great chance to sample a dozen different dishes (and twice as many wines) before strolling down to the Celestial Cinema.

The Friday evening Taste of Chocolate event at the Four Seasons has become an annual "must" for chocoholics—as well as those hoping to catch a glimpse of their favorite attending celebrity. The vibe is always casual yet elegant, and there will be plenty of opportunities to take a snapshot with James Bond (Brosnan) or a desperate housewife (Huffman).

The weekend will close with a special outdoor Makana concert, held on Sunday at 7:00 p.m., as the sun sets in front of Haleakala.

Whether you make the jaunt simply for an al fresco movie, or to all the events, the Maui Film Festival is a wonderful event that allows you an incredibly unique island experience.

Tickets for the Maui Film Festival can be purchased at www.MauiFilmFestival.com; they range from free (SandDance Theater) to $10 (Celestial Cinema). The Taste of Chocolate event is $150 per ticket, while the $300 Stardust pass gets in to most films and a few evening events. See web site for more information.

The vibe is always casual yet elegant, and there will be plenty of opportunities to take a snapshot with James Bond (Brosnan) or a desperate housewife (Huffman).