Patricia Clarkson & Joan Allen Talk To "B"

2006 Maui Film Festival Wraps on a High Note

Patricia Clarkson & Joan Allen Talk To "B"

The Maui Film Festival, which wrapped on June 18, was the biggest success in its 7 years running, according to festival founder and organizer, Barry Rivers. The more than 20,000 total attendees to the week-long film viewings, lectures, award presentations and post-screening parties climbed well above attendance records during previous years.

"we'really focused on improving the scheduling this year, by making things tight," said Rivers in an exclusive interview with B on Hawaii. "We cut out $100,000 from our operational budget, and still managed to grow the staff. I can genuinely say that I feel we have this whole film festival thing figured out."

You heard it here.

We at B on Hawaii were one of the only print media outlets chosen to interview both attending celebrities, Joan Allen and Patricia Clarkson, as well as greet them on the red carpet (it was actually blue) and welcome them to Hawaii.

For Clarkson, whose first major role was Mrs. Elliot Ness in the Untouchables (beside Kevin Costner), and has since shined in Good Night and Good Luck, The Green Mile, High Art and the hit HBO series Six Feet Under, it was her first time ever in Hawaii.

"It's a fantasy, really--it's everything you could imagine. I don't even know the last time I had a vacation. So just swimming, taking walks on the beach, enjoying the spa--I had an amazing body scrub--are all a treat for me," said Clarkson, who went on to plug the service at the Four Seasons Wailea. "They take care of everything, right down to the last detail. Like grind-your-own coffee beans in the morning. Amazing," she added.

Clarkson can be seen shortly in "All the King's Men", a production she shot in her hometown of New Orleans. It will premiere in Toronto, followed by a special screening in New Orleans, before being released nationally.

Up next for Clarkson is a project called Marriage in which she stars in alongside Pierce Brosnan, Chris Cooper and Rachel McAdams. Entirely shot in Vancouver, Clarkson told us "It's a gorgeous movie, truly."

When we asked Clarkson what other destinations captivated her while filming, she was quick to say Hungary topped the list. "I fell in love with Budapest [while shooting a Canadian film entitled The Baroness and the Pig], it was simply gorgeous. Something suited me there, and I can't really put a finger on what it was. I love Venice--yet have never shot there but would love to. I'm adding Maui to that list now..."

Galaxy Award recipient Joan Allen was also on-hand, and we were lucky enough to catch up with Allen poolside at the Four Seasons, where her 12-year-old daughter Sadie was taking advantage of the poolside massages. We chatted with Allen informally, yet couldn't help notice a rather large book she was immersed in--which we opted to ask her about later, on the red carpet.

Allen--a resident of New York City (as is Clarkson)--had never been to Maui before, but had spent time in Honolulu during high school. On the heels of films such as Face Off, Pleasantville, The Upside of Anger, The Ice Storm, and The Bourne Identity trilogy, Allen was extremely personable and happy to chat exclusively with B on Hawaii.

We asked whether or not she had plans to shoot anything in Hawaii upcoming, to which she replied "Not at the moment, but I'm certainly going to try and change that!"

Allen spent a few days at the Hotel Hana Maui prior to arrival in Wailea for the film festival. She was joined by her daughter and daughter's friend; all three of whom enjoyed hiking, horseback riding and massages whilst in Hana.

"We loved the ride up there, it was a thrill. But what really impressed me was the drive along the southern route on the way here. It was truly amazing how different it was: I was blown away. We started in this lush jungle, and almost immediately there were rolling hills and grassy pastures. Before I knew it, we were in these desert-like volcano areas...it was amazing," said Allen. Looks like Hawaii has another A-list fan.

Allen shared with us that she does in fact like to travel for film work, however she finds it hard to leave her Upper West Side apartment and daughter behind. She told us that she tries to shoot as much as she can over the summers, so her daughter can travel with; and if she can't, she will actually turn down projects solely to remain at home and support her family. More points for Allen.

"We [daughter Sadie] recently went to India together, for 10 days. I was shooting in London, and we made the trip to visit the Taj Mahal, as well as do some additional work there. We both loved it," said Allen. "We also loved Prague and Berlin."

Poolside, we noticed Allen entranced by a rather lengthy read--the voluminous biography of Georgia O'Keeffe--so we couldn't help but put on our nosy reporter hat and ask if it were "homework" for a future project.

Blushing, Allen giggled and said "Well! I...ah...just started thinking about her a bit...she's a very interesting character. I'm kind of in between..."

Again, you heard it here first.

Although a handful of celebrities canceled last minute--Jessica Biel, Michelle Yeoh, and John C. Reilly--the majority of attendees didn't seem to mind.

"The lack of celebrity attendance detracted less than I originally thought it would," said Rivers.

"These celebrities are approached with all kinds of paying gigs at any moment--and we can't compete with that. We try and make it as attractive as we can to come here, stay at the Four Seasons, and so on. But when a paycheck comes a-knocking, we understand they do what they have to do. We just had to get back up and have it."

Joan Allen was also on-hand; we were lucky to catch up with her poolside at the Four Seasons...