Sundance of the Pacific Descends Upon Maui Next Week

Sundance of the Pacific Descends Upon Maui Next Week

There must be something in the June air—that brings the world’s biggest filmmakers to Hawaii at the onset of summer. The 10th Annual Maui Film Festival begins next week, on Wednesday, June 17, and runs through Sunday, June 21, in Wailea, Maui. If you haven’t attended this incredibly in-depth event before, get your Hollywood duds pressed and head down to the luxury side of Maui.

From the simple yet awe-inspiring experience of watching a film under the Maui sky in Dolby Digital Surround-Sound, on the Wailea Golf Course, to towering chocolate fountains at the Four Seasons’ “Taste of Chocolate” affair, this 5-day festival is a nod to all the finer things in life. And there are plenty of celebrities, press and pretty people to gawk at too.

It’s unknown how many people realize the effort that festival founder Barry Rivers puts in to scouring the globe for 11 months a year in search of the most appropriate, story and character-driven films that all have one common theme: They were made for the love of film making. In the past, flicks that have debuted (in Hawaii) include “Garden State”, and “Bottle Shock”, to name two. Rivers is adept at picking films that have meaning—and strike a chord with the issues, themes or trends that run through the lives of most residents of the islands. Through his selections, those who choose to attend the Maui Film Festival screenings are linked; it’s something that can be felt by everyone from the A-list celebrities to the toes-in-the-sand theater-goer who arrives with lawn chair, blanket and cooler in hand.

In addition to the Celestial Cinema, the festival will screen movies on the beach at the SandDance Theater (on Wailea Beach), at Kahului’s Castle and McCoy Theaters. During the twilight hours there are actor award presentations, open to the public, where sit-down interviews are conducted with attending actors. Often, these are revealing, comedic or heart-felt sessions that give great insight in to some of the best actors of our time. At past festivals they have included Pierce Brosnan, Joan Allen, William H. Macy, Patricia Clarkson, Zach Braff, Mike Myers, Jake Gyllenhaal and others.

Tickets range from $10 to $15 (in advance; $20 at the door at Celestial). Tickets to the public culinary events—like the classic Taste of Wailea—range from $125 to $200.

Head to for more information, ticket purchasing and show times. Check in with the next issue of B on Hawaii for in depth reporting from the Red Carpet, to hear what the attending actors had to say about their Maui experience.

"Through his selections, those who choose to attend the Maui Film Festival screenings are linked..."