“He who begins is half done. Dare to be wise. Make a beginning.” – Horace
Taylor Laughlin & Rachel Palumbo at Cannes
Visitng us from Los Angeles this year, filmmaking duo Taylor Laughlin and Rachel Palumbo are here on Maui to present their film school captsone, SAPERE AUDE, which screened last night before feature X/Y, and is screening again today at 3pm as part of Short Film Showcase 2.
The film draws reference from CS Lewis’ ’Surprised by Joy’, Andre Breton’s Surrealist revolution and Horace’s ’Epistles’, in which he says ’sapere aude,’ or in English, ’He who begins is half done. Dare to be wise. Make a beginning.’
Take a moment to get to know these filmmaking dynamos, and head over to the Maui Arts & Cultural Center today at 3pm to catch the showcase, which is comprised of 10 stellar shorts. All poignant, beautiful, and powerful. Continue reading
“Short films are not inferior, just different. I think the short gives a freedom to filmmakers. What’s appealing is that you don’t have as much responsibility for storytelling and plot. They can be more like a portrait, or a poem.” – Jane Campion
Debbie directing actors on set
Throughout the festival, we have three different short film showcases, as well as several short films being shown before the full length features at each venue. Deborah Reinisch – a film professor at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts – is one of the short filmmakers visiting Maui to presenter her short, SURE THING, a screen adaptation of Broadway wizard David Ives’ play. It screens today, at 3pm as a part of Short Film Showcase 2 at Maui Arts & Cultural Center.
With fascinating multiple takes, a la Groundhog Day, SURE THING dramatizes a chance meeting in a Brooklyn bistro. A guy wants to sit in the one available chair, which is across the table from an attractive woman. The repetition of coupling options is hilarious and wicked.
The film most recently screened at the Cannes Film Festival, and we were lucky to catch up with Debbie to find out more about the film, and what inspired her to take the story from stage to screen. Continue reading
Tonight, at 8pm at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center, we have X/Y, a sexy, edgy, smart, and richly emotional story following four young New Yorkers as they struggle with the challenges of intimacy to discover what they truly desire in a relationship.
Filmmaker Ryan Piers Williams is here on Maui and will be introducing the film – one that he wrote, directed, produced and acted in. The film also stars America Ferreira, Amber Tamblyn, Dree Hemmingway, and Common.
Take a moment to learn more about how this film came to be. Continue reading
Kumu Hina, Dean Hamer & Joe Wilson
Most notably recognized for their work on Out in the Silence, a powerful film about the quest for inclusion of LGBT folks in rural America, Emmy Award-winning directors Dean Hamer and Joe Wilson proudly bring their latest film, Kumu Hina, to Maui for the first time tonight at 6pm (Castle Theater, Maui Arts & Cultural Center). (Click here to purchase tickets and avoid lines at the venue.)
In Kumu Hina, the respected and beloved kumu hula and cultural scholar Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu shares her unique world to illuminate the joys and struggles of an extraordinary transgender native-Hawaiian teacher who embodies the ancient tradition called “mahu”.
Dean and Joe graciously took a moment (in the middle of their recent world travels with the film) to tell us some more about their involvement in the film, and we’re happy to share it with you!
This is a film experience not to be missed, and the filmmakers, along with Hina herself, will be in attendance! Continue reading
Tonight’s Hawai‘i-made documentary Kumu Hina (screening tonight, 6/5 at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center’s Castle Theater at 6pm) centers around Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu, a respected and beloved kumu hula and cultural scholar who shares her unique world to enlighten the joys and struggles of an extraordinary transgender native Hawaiian teacher who embodies the ancient tradition called mahu.
The score for this film was composed by another extraordinary cultural figure in Hawai‘i, Makana.
Makana in the studio
Makana took a moment from his travels in Europe to tell us more about his heartfelt connection to Kumu Hina (the film and the person), and about his creative process in composing and recording the film’s breathtaking score.
Enjoy the conversation, and don’t miss an opportunity to meet and greet the film’s directors and Hina herself at tonight’s screening! Continue reading
Would YOU take your 60 year-old parents to Burning Man?
Well, one man did, and made a documentary film about the whole experience.
We caught up with Taking My Parents To Burning Man‘s Bryant Boesen, and his cast-mate, co-director, co-editor, co-producer Joel, this morning as they arrived on Maui and began to prepare for tonight’s 10pm screening at Celestial Cinema.
On Opening Night of the Maui Film Festival, three beautiful venues will fill with moviegoers: the Celestial Cinema at the Wailea Gold & Emerald Golf course, the Seaside Cinema at the Grand Wailea, and the Castle Theater at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center (MACC).
Opening the festival at the MACC we have Dying to Know: Ram Dass & Timothy Leary, a “cosmic buddy film” featuring the two revolutionaries. Bonus points: the film is narrated by Robert Redford.
Gay Dillingham, Director, “Dying to Know”
We caught up with director Gay Dillingham who is here on Maui to present her film with a Q & A to follow. She reminds us that the screening is a benefit for the Love Serve Remember foundation set up in Ram Dass’ name, and that the world-renowned spiritual teacher himself will be in attendance (likely the only time he’ll attend the screening of this film.
Enjoy! Continue reading
Four Seasons Maui Executive Pastry Chef Rhonda Ashton. Photo courtesy of Four Seasons
With all of the swooning about the Taste of Chocolate, our annual culinary celebration of everything cacao, we decided ask Chef Rhonda Ashton – the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea Executive Pastry Chef – to share her thoughts about chocolate and what to expect this year.
With the grandest display of sweets around, being in charge of the Taste of Chocolate may seem daunting. She may have a lot of culinary magic ahead of her, but as you’ll hear from her it’s all for the love of chocolate
Insider tip: festival passes and ticket prices go up tomorrow, so if you like what you hear, you’ll want to get your passes today!
Returning to the Maui Film Festival for the second time in three years, award-winning surf film director and cinematographer Tim Bonython is no stranger to making big waves with his filmmaking. He’s been shooting surf footage for 38 years, and to honor him for his incredible body of work, festival director Barry Rivers presented him with the Beacon Award at the 2012 festival. His film BIGGEST WEDNESDAY has come to be known as one of the most respected surf documentaries ever made.
This year, he comes to Maui to present not one, but TWO of his most recent films, ENCODED and WILD AUSTRALIA.
We were able to catch up with him before he makes his trek to the islands, to learn more about what went into making ENCODED, his film about the legendary wave Teahupoo.