The 15th annual Maui Film Festival will bring some of the film industry's brightest stars to big screens in Wailea and Kahului starting Wednesday and continuing through June 8. Film and event venues include: Celestial Cinema at Wailea Golf Course Amphitheater; Seaside Cindema at Grand Wailea; Castle and McCoy theaters at Maui Arts & Cultural Center; and Toes-in-the Sand Cinema at Wailea Beach. Check out the lineup of Wednesday screenings here, and visit www.mauifilmfestial.com for details.
6 P.M. "DYING TO KNOW: RAM DASS AND TIMOTHY LEARY" (Unrated)
Joe Manganiello of HBO’s “True Blood” makes his directorial debut in “La Bare,” screening June 6 at Maui Film Festival’s Celestial Cinema in Wailea.
Director: Gay Dillingham
Explore the enlightened perspectives of LSD guru Timothy Leary and world-renowned spiritual teacher Ram Dass. During the early 1960s, Leary and Dass were Harvard College professors, illuminating the concept of innerconsciousness and spirituality through the use of controlled psychedelic experiments via LSD, magic mushrooms and Psilocybin. In addition to rare footage, the film, organized into four subjects (life, death, soul and birth), shows interviews of people that they have met along their way to spiritual enlightenment.
8 P.M. "NEURONS TO NIRVANA"
Director: Oliver Hockenhull
As a culture, we still live in the paranoid atmosphere of the so-called "war on drugs," fomented by U.S. figureheads Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan. By "drugs," they mainly meant psychedelics and, of course, cannabis. However, as one of the distinguished scientists interviewed in this film points out about U.S. regulators: "They say they don't want you to do drugs, but they do want you to do drugs - corporate drugs." So now we have a new and growing population of helplessly hooked junkies - white, middle-class Americans addicted to doctor-prescribed pharmaceuticals, especially heroin-derived opioids. In this informative film, documentariand director Oliver Hockenhull assembles the clear insights of foremost researchers, psychologists, authors and pioneers in psychedelic pharmacology to simply proposes a reconsideration of lunatic policies.
8 P.M. "GODDESS" (PG)
Director: Mark Lamprell
What happens when you give a lonely Australian housewife a webcam? She becomes a goddess. Well, at least that's what happens to Elspeth Dickens (played by English actress and singer Laura Michelle Kelly), a housewife who abandoned a budding theatrical career for a lackluster life with her bratty twin toddlers and cranky, absentee husband. Stuck in a remote farmhouse while her marine-biologist spouse James (played by singer-songwriter Ronan Keating) is off saving the whales, the imaginative Elspeth finds solace in a kitchen webcam. After her kitchen-sink performances go viral, she catches the shrewd eye of media mogul Cassandra Wolfe (Magda Szubanski), who calls Elspeth a "goddess." Elspeth soon realizes that stardom often comes at a very steep price, especially when juggling work and family. The toe-tapping soundtrack and colorful hyperrealism of this jaunty musical comedy is tempered by a modern dilemma that many women face: Can career come before family?
10 P.M. "TAKING MY PARENTS TO BURNING MAN" (Unrated)
Directors: Joel Ashton McCarthy, Bryant H. Boesen
This film does exactly what the title says. Self-proclaimed party animal Bryant "Spry Bry" Boesen actually took his parents to the world-renowned flaming festival in Black Rock City, Nev. The parents somehow agree to let their 22-year-old son pull them out of their cushy, nearly retired senior lives and drag them into a fully inverted coming-of-age adventure of a lifetime. This film provides a rare look into the lives of the dedicated annual "burners," the struggles of pulling off such amazing feats in the middle of the desert, and the amount of planning it takes to even get there. If you ever wanted to go, here it is. If you never wanted to go, this will no doubt show you why.
7:30 P.M. "MAVERICK AWARD TRIBUTE - SHEP GORDON"
Event preceeds screening. Venue opens at 6:30 p.m.
8 P.M. "SUPERMENSCH: THE LEGEND OF SHEP GORDON" (R)
Director Mike Meyers
A chance encounter with Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix propelled Maui's legendary entrepreneur on an extraordinary career path that included managing rock stars, producing films and concerts, developing the celebrity chef movement, as well as becoming advisor/confidant to some of Hollywood's finest. This new documentary by comedian/actor Mike Myers examines the unique life of a true innovator who eventually fled the hedonism of L.A. for an oasis in Wailea. Archival footage is mixed with revealing interviews - Michael Douglas, Sylvester Stallone, Willie Nelson, Anne Murray, Mick Fleetwood, Steven Tyler, Tom Arnold, Emeril Lagasse and the filmmaker himself - to paint a candid portrait of a man who has lived it all and has vividly experienced the fickle nature of fame.