Exclusive!! Maui Filmfestival pics


The first pics of the Maui filmfestival

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WAILEA — Noting that all of the outdoor screening venues are solar powered this year, Maui Film Festival Director Barry Rivers injected his own jolt of energy as he kicked off the ninth annual Maui Film Festival at Wailea on Wednesday night at a gala twilight reception at the Fairmont Kea Lani Maui.

“It’s time for all of us to stop thinking like dead dinosaurs, whose energy we’re riding around on,” he said in opening remarks accompanied by his wife, festival co-director Stella Rivers.

“We needed them then, but not now.”

There’s growing green consciousness running through this year’s festival, which continues today through Sunday with almost 100 film screenings in outdoor Wailea venues and the Maui Arts & Cultural Center’s Castle Theater and McCoy Studio Theater.

Filmmaker Daniel Opitz was premiering his documentary, “The Humpback Code,” in a new Wailea venue right on the beach Wednesday evening. The filmmaker, who divides his time between Paia and his native Germany, said the film explores the complexity and the function of the humpbacks’ distinctive songs.

Noting that the movie had been three years in the making, much of it filmed off Maui beaches, he observed that the screen was 299 yards up from the breaking surf.

“The whales could come by and see it, if they were still here,” he said.

A similar theme of global connectedness was voiced by French filmmaker John Charles Cuillandre about his film, “Hawaiian Starlight: Exploring the Universe from Mauna Kea,” also showing Wednesday.

Combining footage of the sky from the mountain with stunning images from outer space, the astronomer-filmmaker said, “I didn’t want to put narration on it.” So he just used music — “45 minutes of contemplative music.”

Besides introducing viewers to the wonders of astronomy, he said, “I wanted to show that astronomers have a heart.”

“Bottle Shock,” the opening theatrical film that played Wednesday at the festival’s signature outdoor Celestial Cinema screen, also had a green dimension to it. It is set in California’s wine-growing Napa Valley, where a father-son team of growers pulled an upset victory in a “blind” wine tasting in Paris in 1976.

Starring Bill Pullman and Alan Rickman and directed by Maui Film Festival honoree Randy Miller, the film was fresh from a screening at the Sundance Film Festival and is set for a showing in the Seattle Film Festival on Sunday.

Producer J. Todd Harris described it as “an underdog story of a father and son. It’s a drama, with comedy.”

“This is obviously a beautiful place to have a festival,” Harris said of the Maui event.

“I think Barry (Rivers) goes to other festivals and picks the films he wants to show. It’s a good sampling. There are high-end stars, but not the pace of Sundance.”

Three of those high-end stars were also savoring the tropical breeze and relaxed pace of the festival.

“That’s why we’re here. It was an easy yes,” said Dennis Quaid, a leading man for decades and Oscar nominee, who’s here with his wife and young twins.

Virginia Madsen, Oscar nominee for “Sideways,” described the sensual experience of flying into Maui as “feeling like I’m home.”

Fresh from filming “Amelia,” with a trailer for a documentary movie she is making with her mother in hand, she said she was ready for the break.

She was honored to be receiving the festival’s Navigator Award, “but a little nervous, too. They’re going to show clips . . . and I’ve been in some stinkers,” she said with a laugh.

Pierce Brosnan, recipient of the Maverick Awards, has had a home on Kauai for years. Maui was in “spittin’ distance,” he said, describing the trip to Maui as “a busman’s holiday.”

Genial behind those matinee idol looks, Brosnan brushed aside the humorous suggestion that the James Bond franchise, in which he starred in three films as Agent 007, had been under a curse since he left, with accidents befalling stuntmen and its new star.

“Daniel Craig is a great star,” he said, suggesting that the series would go on forever.

“But wait until you see ‘Mamma Mia’ (the screen adaptation of the hit Broadway musical in which he stars with Meryl Streep).”

He sings and dances in the film, he acknowledged.

“And when I show up in the last scene in the cape, Daniel Craig, eat your heart out,” he said.

Having reached a point in their careers where they’ve proved themselves, things aren’t quite so insecure now.

“It beats working for a living,” joked Quaid, who will receive the Galaxy Award in a tribute with the other two tonight at the Wailea Marriott Resort & Spa. “It’s really fun now. It feels the same as when I was doing high school drama.”

For more on the Maui Film Festival at Wailea and the Maui Arts & Cultural Center, see today’s Maui Scene or visit

19:05 Gepost door Brosnangirl in Actualiteit | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: maui, filmfestival, pierce brosnan, maverick award |  Facebook |