WAILEA -News that teen heartthrob Zac Efron will be honored with the Shining Star Award when the Maui Film Festival at Wailea opens June 16 lit up entertainment wires around the world when it was announced last week.
Now Festival Director Barry Rivers has announced that the young star best known for the "High School Musical" films and TV series will attend the opening night reception from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Capiche? at the Hotel Wailea. Tickets for the reception go on sale today for $120; the price goes up to $150 on June 16.
The 22-year-old Efron, who also starred in "17 Again," "Me and Orson Welles" and the upcoming "Charlie St. Cloud," set to open July 22, will accept his award at 8 that evening in the festival's signature outdoor Celestial Cinema. For the first time in the festival's history, the tribute will be presented on the 50-foot screen, so everyone in the breathtaking amphitheater will have their own close-up of the star.
RANDY JAY BRAUN photo
Capiche? at the Hotel Wailea (formerly the Diamond Resort), will host the Maui Film Festival’s opening reception June 16 where Shining Star honoree Zac Efron will be in attendance.
On Thursday the festival will present its Beacon Award Tribute to groundbreaking - well, more like wave-breaking - surf filmmaker Taylor Steele. Steele will also take part in an open-air Celestial Cinema tribute.
Other industry luminaries slated to appear and show new films this year include "Grey's Anatomy's" Justin Chambers, "Cougar Town's" Dan Byrd, "How I Met My Mother's" Josh Radnor, "Watchmen's" Malin Ackerman and Taika Waititi.
Now in its 11th year, the festival will also present a full five-day schedule of screenings in the Maui Arts & Cultural Center's Castle Theater.
The screenings of more than 35 narrative, documentary and short films include several with strong Maui and Hawaii connections, including "Hana Surf Girls," and the shorts "Stones" entirely in the Hawaiian language, "Poi Dogs" by Joel Moffett, who grew up on Maui in the 1970s before going on to the American Film Institute and UH Manoa, where he's now a professor and the world premiere of Junichi Suzuki's documentary, "442 -Live with Honor, Die with Dignity."
Also on tap are afternoon filmmaker panels June 19, and a full lineup of parties and culinary events over the five days, mixing Hollywood glitz with Maui-style to produce what is undoubtedly the most relaxed film fest on the planet.
Maui Scene will have extensive festival coverage beginning next week. For more information, visit www.mauifilmfestival.com. - Rick Chatenever