Hana Hou for Hit 2013 Maui Film Festival Trio

A new holiday tradition starts Saturday when Maui Film Festival launches its FirstNight of FirstLight, encore screenings for some of the fest’s best-loved films of the year. The trio of 2013 films will play in Maui Arts & Cultural Center’s Castle Theater: “The Short Game” at 4; “Short Term 12” at 6; and “20 Feet From Stardom” at 8 p.m.

“We know it’s challenging for people to see every film they’d like to during each June’s festival,” said Barry Rivers, Maui Film Festival founder and director. “So giving them a chance to see some of June’s films that are generating huge awards season buzz in L.A., New York and beyond seemed like a unique way to kick off this year’s series.”

FirstLight film tickets are $15 per film. Buy a VIP FastPass at $48 and get access to any four FirstLight movies, valid November through January; FastPasses can be shared with family and friends. A Gold Cinema Circle Membership for $500 allows access to all FirstLight films, and reserves exclusive front-row seats of Castle Theater’s mezzanine section. Complimentary admission to most major film industry guild members and a guest (details on the Maui Film Festival website). Children 12 and younger are free to G- and PG-rated films.

Rivers is again curating FirstLight: Academy Screenings, which will present 20 Hawaii premieres and 10 special screenings, starting in mid-December and continuing through Jan. 5. The wide selection of Oscar-worthy films will show in Castle Theater.

Tickets and VIP FastPasses can be purchased at the MACC box office, by calling 242-7469 or by visiting the box office during its hours of operation and one hour prior to all film screenings. For more information, visit or

– Kehaulani Cerizo