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E Komo Mai And Welcome
While sitting at the picnic table on the lanai of our home in Pa'ia, Maui - Powerbook keyboard brightly illuminated by May's full moon, wirelessly exploring the infinite possibilities for connection to great cinema and so much more that technology makes available to us all - Stella and I always like to take a moment to contemplate how well the "the rubber" of the Maui Film Festival's Vision/Mission to stage an event committed to the presentation of compassionate vision and life-affirming storytelling - meets "the road" of each year's incarnation.
The verdict - we're pleased to report - is better than ever. And here's why . . . .
In our selection of this year's 'ohana (family) of honorees, the Maui Film Festival has made a conscious effort to honor what we like to call luminaries, rather than merely celebrities, by which we mean people whose talent and work ethic place them in a category that transcends mere celebrity. They are the real deal.
The Maui Film Festival 'ohana (family) also takes great pride in continuing its tradition of being a film festival committed to walking the talk of our ongoing commitment to the value and the power for social change that filmmakers, using their collective creative cinematic artistry to explore their constitutionally guaranteed freedom of artistic and political expression, can ignite.
Towards that end, our selection of this year's films, an extremely eclectic group of narrative and documentary shorts and features that all, at a moment in time when the ongoing national and international cultural and political wars are a seemingly endless series of flash points around the nation and around the planet, celebrate cinema's magical ability to simultaneously entertain and enlighten - enlighten, if you will - us all.
Furthermore, in lieu of the traditional gift bags most festivals provide to their honorees and VIPs, the Maui Film Festival has instead chosen to make donations, in the name of all of the festivals' honorees, to two organizations that are worlds apart, and yet who both serve the needs of those most in need.
The first of these beneficiaries is the Maui Community Food Bank (808.877.4357) a group that works to provide sustenance to those who otherwise would go hungry or without proper nutrition.
The second is a not-for-profit organization that offers a chance for real renewal by providing the missing ingredient of hope through cinema with under-the-stars screenings of inspirational films in refugee camps run by the United Nations and others in devastating situations, like those in which 2.6 billion people live without proper sanitation -- and 1.6 billion people among them also live without potable water -- and where experience has shown that food, clothing, shelter and medical care, in and of themselves, are not enough.
The group is Film Aid International (www.filmaidinternational.org ) and they are a perfect fit for the Maui Film Festival and hopefully for some of you as well.
So there you go. We rest our case and trust that we have provided you ample evidence that we are a company and a film festival that understands - to take some liberty with an often used entertainment industry phrase - both "sizzle" and "sashimi".
As importantly, we are also ready, willing and able -- while taking out mission seriously -- to show you all one helluva good time! Thanks for Coming.
Take Care & Enjoy the Ride!
Founder & Director