Maui Arts & Entertainment

Louie Schwartzberg to Receive Visionary Award Maui Film Festival

Listen to this Article
4 minutes
Loading Audio... Article will play after ad...
Playing in :00

Louie Schwartzberg will receive the Visionary Award at the 2019 Maui Film Festival, which will celebrate its 20th annual event from June 12-16, 2019, at the Wailea Resort on Maui.

Louie Schwartzberg. Photo courtesy: Maui Film Festival.

The Visionary Award honors a film artist for their long-standing commitment to inspire and nurture the endlessly evolving tapestry of global cultures into an ever more compassionate and life-affirming planetary community. The previously Visionary Award honoree was His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, the only one given in the 20 year history of the festival.

The award will be presented at the Celestial Cinema on Wednesday, June 12, located at the Wailea Gold and Emerald Golf Course. Following the Award Presentation will be a screening of Schwartzberg’s film FANTASTIC FUNGI…The Magic Beneath Us.

“We are ecstatic to honor Louie Schwartzberg as only our second Visionary Award recipient in the festival’s history, for the way his life’s work and time-lapse cinematography honor the amazement and awe of our extraordinary planet, revealing to all the wonder and surprise of the world that Humanity and all life call Home,” said Barry Rivers, founder and director of the Festival.

FANTASTIC FUNGI…The Magic Beneath Us is a vivid journey into the mysterious subterranean world of mycelium and its fruit—the mushroom. In a story that begins 3.5 billion years ago, fungi make the soil that supports life, with mycelial networks connecting vast systems of roots from plants and trees all over the planet. Like an underground internet, the mycelial network allows trees to not only, but to transfer nutrients from mother trees to seedlings, fostering growth of their own species. Through the eyes of mycologists like renowned expert Paul Stamets, other scientists and mushroom enthusiasts, we will learn about the power, beauty and complexity of the fungi kingdom. We will see that fungi have much more to offer than we know—from food, medicine and expanding consciousness to bioremediation, neurogenesis and treating end-of-life anxiety. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.


Louie Schwartzberg is an award-winning cinematographer, director and producer who has spent his notable career providing breathtaking imagery using unique time-lapse, high-speed and macro-cinematography techniques. Schwartzberg is a visual artist who breaks barriers, connects with audiences, and tells stories that celebrate life and reveal the mysteries and wisdom of nature, people, and places.


Louie’s theatrical releases include the 3D IMAX film Mysteries of the Unseen World with National Geographic, narrated by Forest Whitaker; the theatrical feature Wings of Life for Disneynature, narrated by Meryl Streep; and America’s Heart and Soul for Walt Disney Studios.

Louie has also directed Soarin’ Around the World, the most popular motion-simulator ride film, now playing at Disney Theme Parks globally.

His Moving Art Netflix series was renewed for a third season and will premiere in 2019. Designed to inspire, educate and evolve our perspective on the world, each episode immerses viewers into the natural world, taking them on a journey through time and scale.


Louie’s three TED talks have gone viral, with over 60 million combined views.

Louie is currently developing Visual Healing, an immersive health and wellness program maximizing his award-winning body of work to reduce stress and anxiety. Piloted at the new billion-dollar Jacobs Medical Center at UCSD, Visual Healing forms part of the Wellness programs at Post Ranch Big Sur, Cavallo Point Inn SF, Kamalaya Resort Koh Samui and many others.

Louie is the only artist to be inducted into the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Lemelson Foundation’s Invention Ambassadors Program. In 2017 he received the Debra Simon Award for Leadership in Mental Wellness from Global Wellness Summit. He was Oprah Winfrey’s guest on Super Soul Sunday, and his Gratitude Revealed programs premiered on the OWN online platform.

Tickets and passes are available at

Barry Rivers founded the Maui Film Festival in 2000 as a festival committed to the celebration and exploration of cinema at the intersection of smart and heart. The Festival’s mission has always been to share exceptional cinematic vision in the service of compassionate and transformative storytelling with a diverse audience who call Maui both their home and their home away from home.

Since its inception, the Maui Film Festival has screened more than 800 narrative and documentary feature length and short films from around the world to a diverse audience of industry luminaries, filmmakers, cineastes and movie lovers of all ages. Over the last 19 years the festival has been fortunate to honor such talents as Elizabeth Banks, Connie Britton, Pierce Brosnan, Jessica Chastain, Bryan Cranston, Claire Danes, Laura Dern, Zooey Deschanel, Viola Davis, Adam Driver, Clint Eastwood, Scott Eastwood, Zac Efron, Colin Farrell, Andrew Garfield, Karen Gillian, Jake Gyllenhaal, Woody Harrelson, Garrett Hedlund, Michael B. Jordan, Brie Larson, James Marsden, Mike Myers, Lupita Nyong’o, Freida Pinto, Emma Roberts, Owen Wilson, Olivia Wilde, Evan Rachel Wood, among many others.

The 2019 Maui Film Festival Wailea is made possible by the tremendous and continued support of a number of local, national and international organizations. As of June 1, 2019, this year’s Official Sponsors include Signature Sponsors: Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority, Alaska Airlines; Major Sponsors: Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort, Fairmont Kea Lani, Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea, Grand Wailea, Hotel Wailea, Residence Inn Maui at Wailea, The Shops At Wailea, Wailea Beach Resort, Wailea Gateway Center, Wailea Golf Club Gold & Emerald Courses; Sponsorship ʻOhana: Grey Goose Vodka, Hawai’i Life Real Estate Brokers, Hue Interior Design & Decor, Mana Foods, Maui Brewing Co., Pacific Media Group, Rising Sun; Industry Sponsors: County of Maui, Getty Images, Hawaiʻi Film Office, The Hollywood Reporter, IMDB, Picture Mill, Reel Maui / Maui Film Office, Variety, Vendini, The Works Creative Group; Media Partners: Akakū: Maui Community Media, Hawaiʻi Public Radio, Homes & Land, KAOI Radio Group, Manaʻo Radio, The Maui News, Maui Now, Maui Time, Modern Luxury Hawaiʻi, WHERE Hawaiʻi.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Stay in-the-know with daily or weekly
headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Mahalo for Subscribing
Make the most of your Maui vacation with these top-rated activities: Maui Top 20: Maui Visitor & Tourism Information


This comments section is a public community forum for the purpose of free expression. Although Maui Now encourages respectful communication only, some content may be considered offensive. Please view at your own discretion. View Comments