The Maui Film Festival celebrates its 19th anniversary this year, and, despite taking place in an ever-more crowded calendar of summer film fests, its popularity continues to grow. The event attracts locals and mainlanders alike, and draws both casual fans and ardent cineastes with its unique mixture of sun, sand and life-affirming cinema.
And this time around, in an unexpected turn, the eruption of the Kilauea Volcano on the neighboring Big Island of Hawaii has raised the Maui fest’s profile to new highs.
“People shouldn’t worry,” says fest founder and director Barry Rivers. “That’s 100 miles away and we’re not affected at all.”
Rivers stresses that Maui’s rugged beauty, with its beaches, ocean and backdrop of mountains and jungle, makes it “a very special location — and a lot of the festival is held outdoors.” Venues include the Celestial Cinema
at the Wailea Gold & Emerald Golf Course,