Maui Real Estate Blog

Five Things to Look Forward to at the Maui Film Festival

The 15th Maui Film Festival gets underway today, Wednesday June 4th. This is the earliest start date for the Film Festival in its history. Perhaps, the organizers wanted to get a jump on things because they have such a particularly good event lined up for island residents and visitors.

We put together a list of five things to look forward to at the Maui Film Festival.

    • International Talent. The Festival annually honors some of Hollywood’s biggest and brightest stars with a series of Tributes. This year is no exception. This year the festival will provide awards to Golden Globe Nominee Evan Rachel Wood; rising star Emma Roberts; Oscar Winner Lupita Nyongo; and actor, writer and Director Joe Mangienello.
    • Local talent. Shep Gordon is another festival honoree lauded for his influence in the Music industry, Film Industry and the Celebrity Chef movement. He has called Maui home for a number of years. The biographical film directed by Mike Meyers, Super Mensch will be playing at the Seaside Cinema. Gordon is one of many talented Maui Residents who will be featured on the Big Screen. A variety of talented island water athletes will be appearing in films. One of the more notable features is XOXO which looks at five accomplished Maui Surfer girls and their efforts to give back to the community. Maui Resident and American Poet Laureate W.S. Merwin is the subject of the documentary Even Though The Whole World is Burning. The Film was directed by island resident Stefan Schaefer. These are just some of the local residents whose efforts in front of or behind the camera will make it on the big screen.


  • Celestial Cinema. If there is one thing that makes the Maui Film Festival stand out, it is the venue for the Celestial Cinema. The big screen set up on the golf course in Wailea makes for a spectacular setting. The beautiful green countryside of Ulupalakua looms behind the screen. The Pacific and the neighbor islands are behind you, and as day fades to night a blanket of stars emerges above. It sure beats a multiplex where your feet stick to the floor.

Sunset before the Celestial Cinema.

  • Seaside Cinema. During the recession years, the Maui Film Festival shrank in size. It went from a variety of venues in Wailea to just the Celestial Cinema and films at the MACC. It is exciting to see that the festival will be expanding again to a new venue with the Seaside Cinema. The Seaside Cinema at the Grand Wailea will host more intimate films, offer complimentary valet parking, comfortable seating, food and drinks. This venue will be the location for the majority of the Festival Tribute awards.
  • Food. I would be remiss if I failed to mention the food of the Film Festival. Festival events feature some of the best chefs of Wailea and the island. The open night Twilight Reception is hosted and catered by Capische at the Hotel Wailea. This restaurant is a previous winner of the Aipono Award for best island restaurant. The Taste of Chocolate on Friday night is a sweet tooth’s heaven with eight separate stations of Chocolate. The signature culinary event is the Taste of Wailea. This event features contributions from almost all of Wailea’s Restaurants including new additions to the scene such as Sheldon Simeon’s Migrant and Morimoto Maui. If you waited to get tickets for this event, you missed out. All single event tickets have sold out. You will need to buy a Cosmos Pass VIP Patron to get into the top ticket of the festival.

These are just five of the many reasons to be excited about the Festival. You can check out the full schedule of events Maui Film Festival Website. Don’t forget that if you can’t make it down to Wailea, there are a lot of good films showing at the Castle and McCoy Theaters at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center. Regardless of where and what you attend, the 15th edition of the Maui Film Festival will be another fantastic event.

Pete Jalbert

Maui Real Estate Blog

Sunset at The Wailea Film Festival

Billy and I had the chance to attend the Celestial Cinema at the Maui Film Festival in Wailea Thursday night. It was a fun night of movies under the stars. That being said, the sunset before the event may have stolen the show.


Pete Jalbert

Maui Real Estate Blog

Maui Film Festival Starts Today!

The Maui Film Festival gets underway in just a couple of hours. This premier cultural event is in it’s thirteenth year with movies and parties scheduled for both Wailea and The Maui Arts and Cultural Center. Here are some of the highlights for the festival.

  • The event kicks off with the Opening Night Twilight Reception at Capische? Restaurant at the Hotel Wailea. If you waited until tonight to buy tickets, you waited too long. This event is sold out!
  • Opening Night at The Celestial Cinema is always a fun place to be. You would be hard pressed to find a more scenic venue to watch a movie than under the stars on the Golf Course in Wailea. Opening night includes a Celebrity Tribute to Actor/Producer/Director Josh Radnor. After Josh receives his award, the festival will be featuring a movie directed by Josh entitled Liberal Arts. The second movie of the night is Big Easy Express which chronicles three bands, six cities and one train. Tickets for the Celestial Cinema are $22 and cover both features. The celebrity tribute starts at 8:00 PM. Arrive early, bring a blanket and enjoy the Sunset. The Celestial Cinema is held every night between now and Sunday with actor and film maker awards scheduled prior to the movies.
  • The Taste of Chocolate is a Chocolate Lover’s Dream. This two hour celebration of all things chocolate is hosted at the Four Seasons Resort Wailea. There are six stations where chocolate is served in a whole variety of manners including a chocolate fountain. The Taste runs from 10:00PM-12:00AM on Friday night with tickets costing $125.
  • The Taste of Wailea is one of the premier culinary events on the island. Located outside at the David Leadbetter Golf Academy, the Taste will include menu items from 12 different Wailea Restaurants. The event runs from 4:30-7:00 on Saturday. Tickets are $120 per person.
  • If you are looking for something fun and inexpensive to do with Dad on Sunday night, you may want to consider The Sanddance Theater. The film festival will be showing a free movie down on Wailea Beach between the Four Seasons and The Grand Wailea. Its hard to beat the movies with the sound of surf crashing in the background.

These are just some of the things scheduled as part of The Maui Film Festival. There is also a full schedule of movies set for the Castle Theater at the MACC, film maker panel discussions and other great parties. You can see the full schedule for the Maui Film Festival and buy tickets online. This is one of the cultural events of the year on Maui and is recognized as one of the up and coming film festivals around the world.

The Maui Film Festival is another reason why the Wailea Resort is considered one of the premier travel and second home destinations on the planet. Beautiful beaches, great golf, a fantastic tennis facility, fine shopping, great restaurants, great spas and a stunning setting are other reasons why people chose to come to Wailea year after year. You can find a full list of Wailea Condos for Sale and Wailea Homes for Sale at

Pete Jalbert

Maui Real Estate Blog

Maui Film Festival Coming Up Next Month

The Maui Film Festival is always something to look forward to on the calendar. The thirteenth edition of the Film Festival is scheduled from June 13th through the 17th in Wailea and the Castle Theater at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center in Kahului. This event brings a mixture of independent, documentary, and the occasional big studio production to some great Maui venues. The Celestial Cinema is held nightly under the stars on the Wailea Emerald and Gold Golf Courses. It is one of the more picturesque places to watch a film on the planet. The Castle Theater is a world class venue with top of the line visuals and acoustics. In addition to the scheduled movies, the Maui Film Festival also includes fun parties, film maker panels and celebrity tributes.

As we get closer to the event, the Film Festival has released a partial list of scheduled films. They have also announced that Elizabeth Banks will be one of this year’s festival nominees. You can expect more announcements on celebrity tributes and featured films over the next couple of weeks. We will continue to provide updates about the event on The Maui Real Estate Blog.

Pete Jalbert