Around this time of year Barry Rivers goes nuts. You call him on the phone to ask him a quick question and he immediately tells you that he’s much too busy to talk and that you should send him an email asking your question. So you apologize, hang up and then send him that email. Two hours later he calls you back, says he didn’t have a chance to read your email, tells you to talk to someone else, then goes ahead and gives you all the information you wanted, and then some.
That’s the price the director of the Maui Film Festival—one of the most lush and colorful salutes to movies around—pays every year. Rivers, his wife Stella and a growing number of organizers and volunteers have been doing this since 2000, and almost since the beginning it’s been one of those must-see events that make Maui so special.
This year’s line-up includes a host of big-budget popcorn pictures, consciousness-expanding documentaries, local films about Hawai‘i and Maui, comedies, tragedies, adventures, dramas and one seven-minute short about a guy in a chicken suit battling a clown and a gang of evil mimes that appears to be the best movie ever made by a human being.
In short, the Maui Film Festival is a family-run, independent salute to creative expression. There aren’t many like it in the world. So grab your beach chairs, water bottles and our ridiculously exhaustive all-encompassing guide and enjoy yourselves. Like Rivers and his crew, we worked hard on the issue, all for you. Now get to it!
10 QUESTIONS FOR THE DALAI LAMA
Documentary filmmaker Rick Ray travels to Dharamsala to meet the Dalai Lama. Along the way he takes in the land, people, heritage and begins to see why it sometime seems that the poor are more content than the rich. 89 min.
35MM SHORTS SHOWCASE
Blinders; Delivery; I Want to be a Pilot; Incarnation; It’s JerryTime!: The Strange Trip; One Rat Short; Orchids; Room 10; The Savior; There Was the Moon and a Fox. 118 min.
AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL
Here’s an unflinching documentary look at the ugly side of looking beautiful. We’ve got your eating disorders, cosmetic surgeries and low, low self-esteem. At the bottom, of course, are the elite few getting rich off the whole thing. USA! USA! 110 min.
Can’t get enough of those cuddly critters in the frozen North, eh? Here’s a documentary on the lives of a walrus named Seela and a polar bear named Nanu. What, hung up on why these particular animals have names? It’s for kids! Cut them some slack! Anyway, Queen Latifah narrates. 96 min.
AWAY FROM HER
Oscar-winners Julie Christie and Olympia Dukakis—along with Gordon Pinsent—star in this story of two married couples dealing with Alzheimer’s disease. Should be powerful, and depressing. 110 min.
Sometimes you can’t find love, even when it’s staring you in the face. 10 min.
A visual poem that explores our physical relationship to the Earth. 9 min.
BY MODERN MEASURE
A French-narrated look at the banalities of Southern California. Subtitled. 6 min.
A thought provoking short about a man talking about escalators in a convenience store. 9 min.
Anton Yelchin plays a rich kid who gets kicked out of prep school and has to go to a public high school. Hey! I went to a public high school! Look how I turned out! Uh, on second thought, maybe not… anyway, Robert Downey Jr. and Hope Davis also star. 97 min.
CHASING THE LOTUS
Greg Weaver and Spyder Wills are two of the best surf photographers ever. Their camera lenses have shot the best wave-riders all around the world since the 1950’s. Here’s a look at their lives and work. 88 min.
CONEY ISLAND USA
A carnie’s daily boardwalk life, set to a classic blues soundtrack. 8 min.
CRAZY SEXY CANCER
And now for something completely different. After being diagnosed with cancer, Kris Carr started filming this documentary on how her life began to change—for the better. “Cancer wasn’t killing me,” she says. “It was pushing me to live.” 89 min.
DANCIN’ IN THE STREETS
In this case, New York streets. 5 min.
DEATH AT A FUNERAL
A family gathers to bury dear old dad. First they get the wrong bottle, then they find out the Valium’s actually a hallucinogen and then a blackmailer shows up with dark secrets from the past. All in all, your typical British comedy. 95 min.
Animated, award-winning short about an old man who gets a strange package in a stark, dystopian future. 9 min.
DIGITAL SHORTS SHOWCASE I
Breathe Me; By Modern Measure; Coney Island, USA; Dancin’ in the Streets; A Post-Oil Man; Cataract; A Gentleman’s Duel; High Maintenance; Mirage; Monsoon; The Remaining Days; Rites of Courage; Validation; When You Grow Up; Within; Playing Chicken: The Movie; FYI: “Film Your Issue” Finalists’ Showcase; Hawai‘i: A Voice for Sovereignty. 129 min.
DIGITAL SHORTS SHOWCASE II
Breathe Me; By Modern Measure; Coney Island, USA; Dancin’ in the Streets; A Post-Oil Man; Cataract; A Gentleman’s Duel; High Maintenance; Mirage; Monsoon; The Remaining Days; Rites of Courage; Validation; When You Grow Up; Within; It’s JerryTime!—Big Time; It’s JerryTime!—Traffic Trouble; Playing Chicken: The Movie; FYI: “Film Your Issue” Finalists’ Showcase; Hawai‘i: A Voice for Sovereignty. 137 min.
DR. BRONNER’S MAGIC SOAPBOX
To save the world, Dr. Bronner created a corporation with a conscience. I know it sounds like science fiction, but this actually happened. It’s the story of your favorite cleanser. 54 min.
EAGLE VS. SHARK
Nerdy videogame store clerk throws costume party, gawky young lady crashes, then a quirky sort of love ensues. Nominated for a Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. 87 min.
Comedic genius Steve Carell stars in this sequel to the solidly unremarkable Bruce Almighty. This time around, rookie Congressman Evan Baxter (Carell) moves to northern Virginia, where God (still Morgan Freeman) commands him to build an ark. Sure, why not. 100 min.
If you thought An Inconvenient Truth was a just a tad on the dark side, try this bit more upbeat documentary on global warming. 94 min.
FATE OF THE LHAPA
A look at the remarkable and ancient healing practices of Tibetan shamans. With China doing all it can to squash Tibetan history and culture, there may not be other chances to see traditions as these. 63 min.
FYI: “FILM YOUR ISSUE” FINALISTS’ SHOWCASE
Young people around the world aged 16-25 made short movies about what mattered to them. Here are the best. 6 min.
FUTURE BY DESIGN
The story of the colorful and possible worlds that lie in the imagination of scientist, engineer and futurist Jacque Fresco. 90 min.
THE FUTURE WE WILL CREATE: INSIDE THE WORLD OF TED
A peek into the TED Conference—Technology, Entertainment and Design—that each year gathers some of the most creative and imaginative minds into one place. 74 min.
A GENTLEMAN’S DUEL
Animated short about an Anglo-Franco cockfight. 7 min.
GOOD LUCK CHUCK
Charlie (Dane Cook) has a unique problem. Every time he goes to bed with a chick, she ends up marrying someone else. Doesn’t matter if he likes her or not—they have sex, she gets hitched to another dude. In the short term, this is great—a legion of single chicks want to share his bed. But things get ghastly when Charlie meets the woman of his dreams (Jessica Alba, of course) and he has to keep his distance. 95 min.
HAWAI‘I: MESSAGE IN THE WAVES
A look at the problems Hawai‘i’s surfers, divers, paddlers and marine scientists face as they try to act as stewards of the ocean. 49 min.
HAWAI‘I: A VOICE FOR SOVEREIGNTY
Clifford Naeole, the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua’s Hawaiian cultural adviser, co-produced this profile of a few Maui residents who take Hawaiian sovereignty very seriously. 10 min.
HAWAIIAN WATERFALL PRAYER
Native Hawaiians talk story about protecting Molokai’s Halawa Valley, how the forest helped “Papa K” Kepilino’s initiation as a healer and other examples of the importance of Hawai‘i’s threatened landscape. 59 min.
HEART OF A SOUL SURFER: THE BETHANY HAMILTON DOCUMENTARY
Many people have heard about Bethany Hamilton, the young surfer from Kauai who lost her arm to a shark. But few know about her deep Christian beliefs helped send her back into the water. 31 min.
Short about everything that’s wrong with modern relationships. 10 min.
I COULD NEVER BE YOUR WOMAN
Chick flick alert: Michelle Pfeiffer plays a woman who meets a great guy (Paul Rudd). He’s funny, smart, good-looking—every bit her dream—and he’s also more than a decade younger than her. From the author of Clueless and Fast Times at Ridgemont High. 97 min.
I WANT TO BE A PILOT
Exploring the dreams of children who live in the squalor of Nairobi’s Kibera slum. 11 min.
IN THE SHADOW OF THE MOON
Using never-before-seen NASA footage, this documentary shows what it was like for a dozen men to journey from the Earth to the moon. Winner of the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival. 110 min.
Animation that explores the soul in a 2001: A Space Odyssey kind of way. 9 min.
IT’S JERRYTIME!—BIG TIME
Three segments from the animated Internet feature about the hilariously weird Jerry. 4 min.
IT’S JERRYTIME!—THE STRANGE TRIP
See above. 4 min.
IT’S JERRYTIME!—TRAFFIC TROUBLE
See above. 4 min.
LA VIE EN ROSE
The story of the legendary French singer Edith Piaf. If you don’t know who she is, go and find out. Also stars Gerard Depardieu. 140 min.
LAKE OF FIRE
Called the definitive documentary on abortion, this documentary examines all sides in what’s considered the most polarizing issue Americans have faced in the last 30 years. 152 min.
LIGHT OF THE HIMALAYA
Did you know that Nepal has the world’s highest rate of cataract blindness? I had no idea. Anyway, this doc follows Dr. Geoff Tabin as he climbs a 21,000-foot Himalayan peak to lend a hand at some “eye camps” that help Nepalese with vision problems. 64 min.
THE LOST WAVE: AN AFRICAN SURFING STORY
The story of a real surfing safari. Surfer and historian Sam George travels to Sao Tome on the coast of West Africa to learn how locals there also invented wave riding. 57 min.
Wordless animated short about a bio-robot looking for water. 8 min.
A tale of generational conflict as a Westernized doctor returns to India to visit his dying father. 21 min.
A look at the national sport of Myanmar (we used to call it Burma) that involves six people and a ball and appears to combine football (we call it soccer) and break dancing. The movie follows a Westerner who set out to learn the sport and ended up experiencing a spiritual awakening. 83 min.
NA KAMALEI: THE MEN OF HULA
A rare, inside look at Na Kamalei, Hawai‘i’s first all male hula halau, formed in 1975 by Robert Cazimero. 57 min.
A tale of two struggling musicians who meet in Dublin, collaborate and then fall in love. Sounds charming. Oh, and it won the World Cinema Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival. 85 min.
ONE CALIFORNIA DAY
A look at some of Sunshine State’s best surfers, the beaches they frequent and their wave riding influences. The film includes archival footage that dates to the 1930’s. 96 min.
ONE RAT SHORT
A heroic subway chases a Cheetos bag—at all costs. 10 min.
ONE WINTER STORY
The story of Sarah Gerhardt, the first woman to ride the giant California break known as the “Everest of waves.” Today a college professor, her childhood was probably tougher than the waves she conquered. 56 min.
A widower can’t leave his own house, then a virginal photographer comes by. 17 min.
A PATH WITH A PURPOSE
Laird Hamilton and Dave Kalama paddlesurf and bicycle across the Hawaiian Islands, from Hilo to Hanalei, in a single week. Why would they do such a thing? To help an autistic child. 60 min.
Christina Ricci stars in this modern romantic fable about a young heiress who inherits a family curse that can be dispelled only with true love. Action-filled shoot-‘em-up thriller, this is not. Also staring Reese Witherspoon and James McAvoy. 101 min.
PLAYING CHICKEN: THE MOVIE
A man in a chicken suit uses a tandem bike to save a bride from a clown and his gang of evil mimes. Sounds like the greatest movie ever. 7 min.
A POST-OIL MAN
An animated survivalist explains how he’ll get by once the world’s supply of oil runs dry. 3 min.
THE POWER OF COMMUNITY: HOW CUBA SURVIVED PEAK OIL
An intriguing look into how Cuba—that tiny bastion of communism just 90 miles off the Florida coast—turned it’s loss of cheap oil following the collapse of the Soviet Union into an opportunity to find new energy sources. Sound familiar? 53 min.
THE REMAINING DAYS
An old, dying man finds a list of things he wanted to do in life, and proceeds to do them with what little time he’s got left. 8 min.
RITES OF COURAGE
A young Samoan endures the ancient tattooing rite to face a challenge very different from his ancestors. 4 min.
RESURRECTING THE CHAMP
This year’s boxer-with-a-heart-of-gold picture stars Samuel L. Jackson as a down-and-out ex-fighter who befriends by sports writer Josh Hartnett. 112 min.
It’s Pacific Biodiesel, in convenient movie form. This documentary looks at Bob King, who built a local Maui industry—with a little help from Willie Nelson—converting restaurant’s cooking waste into a clean-burning diesel fuel that may help save the planet. 84 min.
The tale of a stutterer who joins his school’s debate team to get a chick, but ends up finding a lot more, and it’s not just hard work and dedication, because debating teams are nothing if not hard work and dedication. Nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. 101 min.
Kris Kristofferson changes the life of a young ER medic. Directed by Jennifer Aniston (yes, that Jennifer Aniston). 19 min.
Skewering door-to-door missionaries in Australia. 17 min.
A romantic comedy about a wise-ass who inherits a house in Shanghai and finds his life torn between to very different worlds. 104 min.
Animated film about a penguin who enters a surf competition. You heard me. Voices include it-kid Shia LeBeouf, Jeff Bridges, Jon Heder, Michael McKeon and James Woods. 125 min.
THE TEMPLE BUILDER
For some reason I keep meeting chicks who are totally into Burning Man. It never used to happen but now it does all the time. You know what this tells me? It tells me I need to find a new way to meet chicks! Anyway, this film examines David Best, the 60-year-old who every year builds a giant pagoda at Burning Man, only to set it ablaze on the last night. If he sounds like a nut, then you’ve never been to Burning Man, because he sounds like the sanest guy there. 54 min.
Paul Rudd, Gretchen Mol and Wynona Ryder star in 10 skits, each of which takes on one of the Ten Commandments. Guess which one Ryder’s in—I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. 93 min.
THERE WAS THE MOON AND A FOX
Animated fable of the fox that fell in love with the moon. 12 min.
THROUGH THE EASTERN GATE
Filmed in India and Turkey, this film tells the story of three young people who spurned Western materialism end embraced spiritual, Eastern philosophies. Sounds interesting. I wonder if they have a website, newsletter and series of lectures on CD that I can buy… 50 min.
Can’t get enough of pictures that talk about the dangers of oil dependence. This one tells about how the age of oil is coming to a close, and how a bunch of activists, visionaries and engineers are working hard to help us out. 60 min.
TRUTH IN TERMS OF BEAUTY
Herman Leonard spent five decades photographing and befriending jazz legends like Dizzy Gillespie, Dexter Gordon and Quincy Jones, as well as some of the world’s most beautiful women. This film tries to capture some of Leonard’s hip, incredibly lush life. 83 min.
Robert Redford and Willie Nelson appear in this documentary look at the battle over Barton Springs in Austin, Texas. You think we’ve got growth and development troubles here? Just wait until you see what happened here. 93 min.
A tale of power and intrigue involving a parking lot attendant and a DMV lady. 16 min.
This dramatic comedy tells the story of Jenna, unlucky at love, lucky at baking pies. Just when she’s ready to bail on her miserable husband, she gets pregnant. Sounds like it’s time for pie. 104 min.
Okay, the blurb on this picture had me in tears. It’s the story of the children of Uganda’s Acholi tribe, who prepare for a national music competition while simultaneously trying to cope with recent wartime atrocities. It may sound oppressively heavy, but you know it’s also uplifting. 105 min.
WHEN YOU GROW UP
Flipbook animated tale of a boy who meets his mother. 3 min.
WHERE THE SUN RISES
A look at President Xanana Gusmao, who retraces his past from anti-government guerilla to political prisoner who faces torture to political leader in East Timor. Won Amnesty International’s “Movies That Matter” award. 81 min.
THE WINDSURFING MOVIE
It’s windsurfing, but in movie form. Directed by award-winning cinematographer Johnny DeCesare and windsurfing pioneer Jace Panebianco. 63 min.
Rage and peace visualized by the dancing of Aminah Abdul Jillel. Written and co-produced by Maui High grad Amanda (Rodrigues) Robson. 5 min.