Maui film premieres shine over 5 nights at Maui Film Festival’s Stardust Cinema
Maui Film Festival’s Stardust Cinema presents 13 Maui film premieres in five nights starting Wednesday, July 6, at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center.
It’s a whirlwind of documentary and feature films about innovative characters and varied lifestyles, including a film about big-wave rider Kai Lenny and another about legendary surfing champion Gerry Lopez.
There are feature comedies “Shalom Tango” and “Pretty Problems” and the science-based theatrical production “The Story of Everything” by Hawaiʻi Poet Laureate Kealoha, a hip-hop Hawaiian artist with an MIT nuclear physicist background who’s performed at the White House, toured internationally, and whose prose has been sought and published in the New York Times.
Lopez seems to have made transitions in his life with great and quiet ease, going from the longboard to shortboard to win the Pipeline Masters, leaping into a major role in Arnold Scharzenner’s breakthrough film “Conan The Barbarian,” exploring the surf in Northern Indonesia, and eventually moving himself and his family from Hawaii to Oregon where he surfs. shapes boards, and also snowboards and waterskis.
The film “The Yin and Yang of Gerry Lopez” looks at his integration of Eastern philosophy and practices into a Hawaiian sport in the dangerous world of competitive surfing.
Yoga “was the foundation of my development as a surfer,” Lopez reveals in a film preview.
Yoga? The documentary tells you what works in his personal life to achieve a successful balance, thus the “Ying and Yang” title, not to mention the nerve to drop into a deep barrel of a wave at Pipeline while the teeth of the reef rises above water to gnarl you — if you fall.
The film about Lopez starts at 8 p.m. Wednesday, July 6, at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center’s A&B Amphitheatre on a mini-jumbo-tron. Gates open at 5 p.m.
A 38-minute special screening of a “Secret Cinema” film, one of four in the lineup throughout the festival, starts at 6:45 p.m., before the film about Lopez.
Besides nightly premieres, festivities include a mix of live music, kahiko-style hula, festival tributes to filmmakers.
Lopez is receiving a “Visionary Award” and his director Stacy Peralta, the “Rainmaker Award” for having the magical ability to impact the creative dynamics of every project they touch on and off the screen.
There’s also an eclectic mix of live music, kahiko-style hula, festival tributes, and several nightly film surprises from July 6 to 10.
Others films include:
July 7, Thursday, 6 p.m. — “The Pursuit Of Color” is the first intimate feature length portrait of the contemporary photojournalist Steve McCurry. The one thing more poignant than McCurry’s pictures is his tumultuous 40-year career, which he’s spent traveling the globe essentially alone, capturing incredibly powerful images depicting the complexity of human life.
8 p.m. — “Gratitude Revealed” is having its World Festival Premiere Screening. An epic journey of 40 years in the making, Gratitude Revealed is from acclaimed filmmaker, Louie Schwartzberg. Schwartzberg takes viewers on a transformational, cinematic experience of how to live a more meaningful life full of gratitude through his intimate conversations with everyday people.
July 8, Friday, 5:45 p.m. — “Facing Monsters” takes place on Southern Australia’s West Coast, where a big wave surfer Kerby Brown has tackled some of the most unpredictable waves on the planet. Big, heavy and virtually impossible to ride, the waves often smash almost directly upon blade-like fingers of reef. Some people turn to alcohol and drugs to tame their inner demons, but Brown turns to waves — monstrous ones.
8 p.m. — “The Story Of Everything,” as told by Hawaiʻi’s Poet Laureate Kealoha who also has a degree as a nuclear physicist, explores humanity’s rich and diverse explanations for the origins of life, and presents powerful solutions for the continued health of the planet at a time when we’re confronting the most severe crisis the earth has ever faced.
July 9, Saturday, 6 p.m. — The comedy “Pretty Problems” is a witty look at wealth, privilege and relationships that takes place over a couple of days of hedonism in wine country. It follows a couple having a get away trip at the invitation of affluent strangers. The film received several good reviews while at the 2022 SXSW Film Festival .
8 p.m. Kapo. For mature audiences. A young indigenous woman trapped in the throes of an abusive relationship gets revenge by burning down her boyfriend’s home. Fearing retaliation, she flees into the mountains of Kauaʻi, Hawaiʻi, where she discovers a mythical creature that guides her back to her ancestral roots.
July 10, Sunday — “Tango Shalom” starts at 6 p.m. From the creators of the romantic indie comedy My Big Fat Greek Wedding comes Tango Shalom, a warm, wonderful PG-13 rated comedy whose message about religious tolerance is welcome and important.
8 p.m. “PE’AHI“ — A homeless 13-year-old surfer from Maui forms a friendship with his hero, pro-surfer, and big wave world champion, Kai Lenny. Lenny teaches him how to surf the infamous big wave, Pe’ahi, also known as Jaws. The MACC Box Office windows are currently closed for window sales but open for pre-show, will-call tickets pick up only. Use of print-at-home ticketing is recommended. The MACC Box Office is accessible for inquiries only via email at [email protected] or phone at 808-242-7649, Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.