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Maui Film Festival Draws Film Fans and Stars to Hawaii

Maui Film Festival Draws Film Fans and Stars to Hawaii
In an ever-more crowded calendar of summer film festivals, the Maui event stands out for its popularity. It celebrates its 18th anniversary this year and offers both casual fans and ardent cineastes from around the world a compelling mixture of sun, sand and cinema.

“What sets us apart from other film festivals is location, location, location,” says festival founder and director Barry Rivers. “We have the incredible natural beauty of Maui, ranging from mountains to jungle to beaches, and the spectacular ocean. All that serves as a backdrop to the festival. And most of the venues are outside, including our Celestial Cinema at the Wailea Gold & Emerald Golf Course, and our Toes-in-the-Sand Cinema on Wailea Beach at the Four Seasons.”

The latter venue will host this year’s Short Film Showcase. “It’s free,” adds Rivers. “Where else can you sit under the stars on a balmy night on a beautiful beach and watch a great movie for free?”

Rivers says he’s particularly thrilled with this year’s film program. “We’ve got a great collection of indie films, including our opening night dramedy ‘Beatriz at Dinner,’ starring Salma Hayek, John Lithgow and Connie Britton, and directed by Miguel Arteta, which has been getting great reviews.”

The festival will close with a diverse slate, including “Holy [un]Holy River,” about India’s Ganges, and “The Trip to Spain,” the third in the popular road trip series featuring Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, again directed by Michael Winterbottom.

Adds Rivers, “We’ll also show some terrific surf films, which people really love out here, including ‘The Big Wave Project — A Band of Brothers.’”

Screening on the second night, and five years in the making, the film was directed by Tim Boynton and features many of the biggest names in the big-wave surfing world.

Also screening is “Take Every Wave: The Life of Laird Hamilton,” which profiles the local surfing legend, and “Proximity” which features eight of the world’s best surfers.

“We’ve also got a few films that speak to matters of the spirit, and address how people spend their time on the planet, such as ‘Given’ and ‘Heal,’” he says.

Other highlights include various filmmaker panels, Q&A sessions, honoree events and private VIP soirees, as well as open-to-all themed culinary celebrations. “We have three taste events, starting on opening night with a Taste of Summer, and our launch party, with cocktails, dinner and live music. On Friday we do Taste of Chocolate, and on Saturday we do Taste of Wailea, which will feature about 13 local chefs from all the local resorts and hotels.”

While the festival has come a very long way since the early days, Rivers says, it hasn’t been without challenges. “We’re so far from the mainland, it’s a bit like the early space shots – you need double or triple redundancies built in, just in case.”

Pictured above: “Take Every Wave: The Life of Laird Hamilton,” which profiles the surfing legend who grew up in Hawaii.

Mauii Film Festival Honorees:

Karen Gillan

Rising Star

The Scottish actress’ big breakthrough came in 2009 when she landed the role of Amy Pond in “Doctor Who.” She then snagged the role of Nebula in Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy,” and stars in Sony’s “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle,” out in December. She has also completed production on her feature film directorial debut, “The Party’s Just Beginning,” which she also wrote and in which she stars.

Freida Pinto

Shining Star

Since arriving on the international scene in 2008’s Oscar-winning “Slumdog Millionaire,” the Indian actress has successfully fought typecasting. She’s currently playing a radical activist opposite Idris Elba in Showtime’s limited series “Guerrilla,” set in1970s London and directed by John Ridley. Pinto also stars in Warners Bros.’ “Jungle Book,” out in 2018.

Connie Britton

Navigator Award

The four-time Emmy nominee and star of “Beatriz at Dinner,” which is screening at the Maui fest, is supremely versatile, with credits including “Friday Night Lights,” “Nashville,” “American Horror Story” and “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story.” Britton recently shot “Land of Steady Habits,” written and directed by Nicole Holofcener, and “Professor Marston & The Wonder Women.”

Pierce Brosnan

Pathfinder

The Irish-born star got his big break in the 1980s TV hit “Remington Steele” before moving into films and showcasing his range in both spy thrillers (“The Fourth Protocol”) and comedies (“Mrs. Doubtfire”). But Brosnan also played the iconic James Bond in four films, and his resume is eclectic: “Dante’s Peak,” “The Matador,” “Mamma Mia!” and his current project, AMC’s “The Son.”

Related storiesPierce Brosnan, Freida Pinto, Connie Britton Added to Maui HonoreesMaui Film Festival Announces Karen Gillan as Rising Star Award RecipientPierce Brosnan Writes Tribute to Roger Moore: 'We Fell in Love With a Magnificent Actor'
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Forsyth's "Whispering Wind" Gets Adapted

Friends of Film is developing an adaptation of famed author Frederick Forsyth's 2001 novella "Whispering Wind".

The story is a romance drama about a frontiersman and a Cheyenne Indian woman after the Battle of Little Big Horn. Their nineteenth century survival skills are put to the test when they are pursued by men armed with modern technology.

Robert Stern is adaptating the screenplay and will produce. 'Wind' is the longest story in an anthology collection titled "The Veteran" by Forsyth who penned such legendary books as "The Day of the Jackal" and "The Fourth Protocol" .

Source: Variety
See full article at Dark Horizons »

Frederick Forsyth’s Novel ‘Whispering Wind’ in the Works as Movie

Frederick Forsyth’s novella “Whispering Wind” is in development as a movie at Seattle-based Friends of Film, Variety has learned exclusively.

The love story, published in 2001, centers on a frontiersman and a Cheyenne Indian woman after the Battle of Little Big Horn. The protagonist’s 19th century survival skills are put to the test when she’s pursued by men armed with modern technology.

The story is a departure from Forsyth’s better-known thrillers such as “Day of the Jackal,” “The Odessa File,” “The Fourth Protocol” and “The Dogs of War.”

Seattle-based producer Robert Stern has purchased the film rights to produce and will adapt the screenplay as well. Friends of Film distributes foreign films in select U.S. markets along with developing novel-based properties, including “Dreams of My Russian Summers” by Andrei Makine.

“With over 70 million books in print and numerous successful films to his credit over the past 30 years,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Pierce Brosnan: The Hollywood Flashback Interview

I interviewed Pierce Brosnan in conjunction with his third outing as James Bond, in Michael Apted's The World Is Not Enough, in 1999. Brosnan was alternately charming, erudite, thoughtful and intense during our two hour chat. His native intelligence shone through it all, as did a sense of decency which many people seem to acquire after enduring and surviving hardship in their formative years.

Bonding With Brosnan

By

Alex Simon

There are several dangers in becoming a cultural icon, not the least of which is the stigma that your public will forever keep you imprisoned in the mold of your iconography, allowing the recipient a privileged, if imprisoned, existence, particularly if that person is an artist. Sean Connery faced just such a dilemma during the height of James Bond-mania in the mid-60's. A serious actor, Connery desperately wanted to break out of the action hero mold that was British Superspy James Bond,
See full article at The Hollywood Interview »

Dobbs To Pen Forsyth's "Kill List" Film

Veteran screenwriter Lem Dobbs ("Dark City," "The Limey," "The Company You Keep") has been hired to pen the script for the film adaptation of Frederick Forsyth's latest thriller novel "The Kill List".

"Snow White and the Hunstman" director Rupert Sanders is still onboard to helm the project which Nick Wechsler, Steve Schwartz and Paula Mae Schwartz ("The Counselor") are set to produce.

The story follows a U.S. Special Forces agent tasked with tracking down a powerful terrorist in a high-stakes cat-and-mouse game.

Forsyth penned such legendary works as "The Day of the Jackal," "The Odessa File" and "The Dogs of War" which all saw film adaptations. 'Kill List' though would mark the first adaptation of a Forsyth novel since 1987's "The Fourth Protocol" starring Michael Caine and a young Pierce Brosnan.

Source: The Los Angeles Times
See full article at Dark Horizons »

Lem Dobbs Composes The Kill List

Lem Dobbs Composes The Kill List
As previously reported, director Rupert Sanders' next gig behind the camera will be an adaptation of Frederick Forsyth's fourteenth novel The Kill List. The project now has a screenwriter, in the reliable form of Lem Dobbs.Not to be confused with Ben Wheatley's brutal existential horror, Forsyth's Kill List was published just last month. The title refers to the Us government's most wanted terrorists, and at the top of this version is Zulfiqar Ali Shah (Aka The Preacher). He's a "cyber-evangelist" exhorting radicalised Muslims to murder. On his trail is Us marine Kit Carson (Aka The Tracker), for whom the vendetta is personal as well as professional. Cue much in the way of technological military savvy and globe-trotting action.Forsyth, of course, is the veteran thriller writer behind the likes of The Day Of The Jackal and The Fourth Protocol (that was his last novel to be filmed,
See full article at EmpireOnline »

Frederick Forsyth's "Kill List" Optioned

Producers Steve Schwartz, Paula Mae Schwartz and Nick Wechsler have acquired film rights to author Frederick Forsyth's new espionage novel "The Kill List".

The story deals with an intricate chess game between a brilliant Marine, an Israeli agent, a teenage hacker and a mysterious psychopathic cleric.

Writers will be met with soon to package the movie ahead of it being sold to a studio.

The producing team are the same ones behind Ridley Scott's upcoming "The Counselor".

Forsyth penned classics such as "The Day of the Jackal," "The Fourth Protocol" and "The Odessa File".

Source: Deadline
See full article at Dark Horizons »

‘The Counselor’ Producers Again Strike Fast To Pre-empt Frederick Forsyth’s ‘The Kill List’

Exclusive: In a six-figure deal, producers Steve Schwartz, Paula Mae Schwartz and Nick Wechsler have preemptively acquired rights to The Kill List, the new novel by Day Of The Jackal author Frederick Forsyth. The contemporary espionage tale is described as an intricate chess game between a brilliant Marine, an Israeli agent, a teenage hacker and a mysterious psychopathic cleric. The novel will be published in September by Penguin. Forsyth also wrote The Fourth Protocol and The Odessa File. Schwartz, Schwartz and Wechsler will produce and Roger Schwartz is co-producer. They bought this preemptively as they did The Counselor, which went from a Cormac McCarthy spec to a green lit movie at lightning speed. Matching the gritty intensity that McCarthy has poured into books like No Country For Old Men, the script quickly drew director Ridley Scott and a cast that includes Michael Fassbender, Cameron Diaz, Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem.
See full article at Deadline Movie News »

Lead Actors: The Overlooked and Underrated

This article is dedicated to Andrew Copp: filmmaker, film writer, artist and close friend who passed away on January 19, 2013. You are loved and missed, brother.

****

Looking at the Best Actor Academy Award nominations for the film year 2012, the one miss that clearly cries out for more attention is Liam Neeson’s powerful performance in Joe Carnahan’s excellent survival film The Grey, easily one of the best roles of Neeson’s career.

In Neeson’s case, his lack of a nomination was a case of neglect similar to the Albert Brooks snub in the Best Supporting Actor category for the film year 2011 for Drive(Nicolas Winding Refn, USA).

Along with negligence, other factors commonly prevent outstanding lead acting performances from getting the kind of critical attention they deserve. Sometimes it’s that the performance is in a film not considered “Oscar material” or even worthy of any substantial critical attention.
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Hot Rods & Droids: A George Lucas Profile (Part 4)

Trevor Hogg profiles the career of legendary filmmaker George Lucas in the fourth of a six part feature... read parts one, two and three.

For over a decade filmmaker George Lucas had been developing a project which was a gender reversal of the Biblical story about Moses being hidden as a baby in the bulrushes. When asked to describe Willow (1988), Lucas called it “an adventure fantasy that takes place a long time ago in a mythical land.” Cast as the title character who becomes the guardian and defender of the wayward baby from an evil sorceress was Warwick Davis who made a name for himself playing the Ewok known as Wicket. “I was on holiday in southwest England when I got a call from George to come to Elstree – one of the major British studios – and audition for the part,” remembers Davis. “Actually, I did four auditions altogether; three in England and one in America.
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

John Mackenzie obituary

Film director whose career took him from gritty television plays to Hollywood thrillers

People who talk wistfully of the "golden age of British television drama" are often accused of viewing the past through the rosy lens of nostalgia. But a clear-eyed examination of the era proves that such slots as the BBC's The Wednesday Play (1964-70) and Play for Today (1970-84) were unsurpassed as breeding grounds for talented directors such as John Mackenzie, who has died after a stroke aged 83. Like most of his contemporaries who gained their experience by working in television – Philip Saville, Michael Lindsay-Hogg, Ken Loach, Mike Newell, Michael Apted and Mike Leigh – Mackenzie went on to make feature films, notably his superb London-based gangster picture, The Long Good Friday (1980).

The television background trained Mackenzie to work quickly on taut and realistic narratives, within a tight budget and on schedule. One of his first jobs was as
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

John Mackenzie obituary

Film director whose career took him from gritty television plays to Hollywood thrillers

People who talk wistfully of the "golden age of British television drama" are often accused of viewing the past through the rosy lens of nostalgia. But a clear-eyed examination of the era proves that such slots as the BBC's The Wednesday Play (1964-70) and Play for Today (1970-84) were unsurpassed as breeding grounds for talented directors such as John Mackenzie, who has died after a stroke aged 83. Like most of his contemporaries who gained their experience by working in television – Philip Saville, Michael Lindsay-Hogg, Ken Loach, Mike Newell, Michael Apted and Mike Leigh – Mackenzie went on to make feature films, notably his superb London-based gangster picture, The Long Good Friday (1980).

The television background trained Mackenzie to work quickly on taut and realistic narratives, within a tight budget and on schedule. One of his first jobs was as
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

R.I.P. Michael Gough

R.I.P. Michael Gough
Michael Gough, the beloved British character actor whom many will remember from the pre-Chris Nolan "Batman" movies, has passed away aged 94. Born in Kuala Lumpur, Gough made his film debut in 1947 in "Blanche Fury" and went on to achieve fame in British television.

He made two memorable appearances as villains in "Doctor Who" - first as the titular villain of the second Doctor serial "The Celestial Toymaker" in 1966, then as a Time Lord councillor in league with Omega in the fifth Doctor serial "Arc of Infinity" in 1983. He also married Anneke Wills, an actress who played one of the Doctor's companions on the show.

Gough's other memorable small screen turns include a famous episode of "The Avengers" as the wheelchair-bound Dr. Armstrong, and his role as the British Prime Minister in Ian Curteis' "Suez 1956".

His big screen credits are even more impressive with key roles in Harold Pinter's "The Go-Between,
See full article at Dark Horizons »

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