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Maui Film Festival celebrates 20 years of bringing light, love and hope to Maui movie buffs

MFF 2019 Shining Star Award Honoree Awkwafina stars in a story about a girl who returns to China when her family discovers that the beloved matriach and grandmother only has a short time left to live. Photos courtesy Maui Film Festival

Maui Film Festival presents meticulously curated films that remind us that, despite all of our differences, humanity still reigns supreme. While the festival opened June 12, there are still more than 20 feature films and 20-plus shorts screening between today and Sunday at the renowned Celestial Cinema in Wailea and Castle Theater at Maui Arts & Cultural Center in Kahului, as well as two free premieres open to all at Toes in the Sand Cinema at Wailea Beach on Friday.

TONIGHT

“WILD ROSE” 8 p.m. | 1:41 | R | Celestial Cinema, Wailea

Preceded by the short film, “#WELAGENTE”

An astonishing film about a star being born as Jessie Buckley leaves Scotland for Nashville to become a country music singer — even with two kids in tow.  

MFF 2019 Rising Star Honoree Maya Erskine stars alongside Jack Quaid in this tale of a single woman who forges a pact with her college friend to look for love.

“THE PEANUT BUTTER FALCON” 10 p.m. | 1:33 | NR | Celestial Cinema, Wailea

Shia LaBeouf, Dakota Johnson and newcomer Zack Gottsagen co-star in this delightful story about a group of mostly harmless misfits who decide to help a hospitalized, marginally mentally handicapped patient chase his dream of becoming the first mentally challenged professional wrestler. 

Friday

“ONE” 3 p.m. | 1:17 | NR | Castle Theater, MACC

An arresting film that explores the elusive bridge between the broken and the unbreakable when this emotionally visual journey asks the question, “What do we want?”

“GAY CHORUS DEEP SOUTH” 5 p.m. | 1:40 | NR | Castle Theater, MACC

Journey along with more than 300 singers traveling from Mississippi to Tennessee to share a message of music, love and acceptance to communities and individuals confronting intolerance. 

“BECOMING NOBODY” 7:30 p.m. | 1:31 | NR | Castle Theater, MACC

Preceded by the short film, “Lady Hater”

This film captures Ram Dass’ joy, wit, honesty and wisdom and life experiences that freed him from attachments, transforming him into the radiant soul inspiring a new generation.

“BOTTOM OF THE 9TH” 8 p.m. | 1:51 | PG-13 | Celestial Cinema, Wailea

Preceded by the short film, “Is This Love?”

MFF 2019 Shooting Star Award Honoree Joe Manganiello stars alongside Sofía Vergara, Manganiello’s real-life wife, in this moving redemption drama about a man who returns to the Bronx after serving 18 years in prison for a mistake he made as a kid.

“PLUS ONE” 10 p.m. | 1:38 |  PG-13 | Celestial Cinema, Wailea

Preceded by the short film, “Certifiable”

MFF 2019 Rising Star Honoree Maya Erskine stars alongside Jack Quaid in this tale of a single woman who forges a pact with her college friend to look for love as they attend a litany of summer weddings together. Winner of the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival Audience for Narrative Feature.

Saturday

“MOANANUIAKEA: ONE OCEAN, ONE PEOPLE, ONE CANOE” Noon | 1:36 | PG | Castle Theater, MACC

A powerful documentary celebrating the historic Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage that connected individuals and communities from around the globe and the passing of the mantle to the next generation of kanaka maoli.  

“CRACKEd UP” 3 p.m. | 1:36 | PG | Castle Theater, MACC

Preceded by the short film, “Shirin-Yoku (Forest Bathing)”

Master impressionist, comedian and “Saturday Night Live” veteran Darrell Hammond reveals his dark history of child abuse balancing humor and tragedy in this well-crafted story of hope and resilience. 

“WELL GROOMED” 5 p.m. | 1:28 | NR | Castle Theater, MACC

Preceded by the short film, “Stumped”

A look at competitive creative dog grooming while traveling with revolutionary groomers through a year on the technicolor competition circuit while broaching the question, “What is art?”

“CRSHD” 7:30 p.m. | 1:21 | NR | Castle Theater, MACC

Preceded by the short film, “Hook Up 2.0”

An ode to millennial romance that deftly juggles silliness and sincerity in a quest to lose one’s virginity by getting invited to an exclusive “Crush Party.”

“THE FAREWELL” 8 p.m. | 1:38 | PG | Celestial Cinema, Wailea

Preceded by the short film, “Unsung Heroes: Football and the Polynesian Athlete”

MFF 2019 Shining Star Award Honoree Awkwafina stars in this heartfelt and sweetly funny story about a girl who returns to China when her family discovers that the beloved matriach and grandmother only has a short time left to live.

“PAVAROTTI” 10 p.m. | 1:57 | PG | Celestial Cinema, Wailea

From the filmmaking team behind the highly-acclaimed documentary, “The Beatles: Eight Days A Week – The Touring Years,” director Ron Howard presents a riveting film that lifts the curtain on the opera icon Pavarotti.

Sunday

SHORT FILM SHOWCASE 1 p.m. NA | NR | Castle Theater, MACC

A carefully curated selection of short films including “One Day Home,” “SophiaWorld,” “PastaLite,” “Swipe,” “John Van Hamersveld,” “My Moon,” “Westfalia,” “That’s My Jazz” and “Storm.”

“ALICE” 3 p.m. | 1:33 | PG | Castle Theater, MACC

Preceded by the short film, “Beauty”

An impressive, highly emotional and bitterly funny homage to sensual French cinema that follows a beautiful young wife and mom taking charge of her life after her husband’s affairs are revealed. Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the 2019 SXSW Film Festival.

“BOTERO” 5:30 p.m. | 1:22 | PG | Castle Theater, MACC

Preceded by the short film, “La Noria (Ferris Wheel)”

Shot in 10 cities in China, Colombia, France, Italy, Monaco and the United States, this kaleidoscopic and poetic behind-the-scenes film chronicles the life and art of Fernando Botero — an intensely private painter and sculptor known all over the world, including Maui’s Grand Wailea where his work is widely displayed. 

“WeRiseUP” 7:30 p.m. | 1:36 | NR | Castle Theater, MACC

Preceded by the short film, “Reboot”

A culture-shifting documentary collaborates with prominent thought, social, political and business leaders to present a new model of success, taking audiences on a profound personal journal of inquiry, reflection and action designed to significantly impact the definition of social responsibility.

“THIS EXCELLENT LIFE: A FRONT SEAT TO 45 YEARS OF EXTREME OCEAN SPORTS ICONS AND INNOVATION” 8 p.m. | NA | NR | Celestial Cinema, Wailea • Children ages 12 and younger admitted for $10.

Preceded by the short films, “Paige Alms” and “Emotional Tourist” Mike Waltze directs this panoramic documentary that highlights all those who, over the last 40 years, have utilized their mind-blowing creativity and seemingly superhuman natural talent to drive the evolution of windsurfing, big wave tow-in and paddle-in, SUP, kite sailing and foil-boarding.

“ECHO IN THE CANYON” 10 p.m. 1:22 | PG | Celestial Cinema, Wailea • Children ages 12 and younger admitted for $10.

Jakob Dylan guides viewers through the explosion of popular music that came out of LA’s Laurel Canyon in the mid-60s as folk went electric and The Byrds, The Beach Boys, Buffalo Springfield and The Mamas and the Papas gave birth to the California Sound.  Brian Wilson, Ringo Starr, Michelle Phillips, Eric Clapton, Stephen Stills, David Crosby, Graham Nash, Roger McGuinn and Jackson Browne and Tom Petty (in his very last film interview) are joined by Beck, Fiona Apple, Cat Power, Regina Spektor and Norah Jones in this enduring time capsule.