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The 2014 Maui Film Festival


The Maui Film Festival in Wailea, Hawaii.Photo Credit: Maui Film Festival

Film is a beautiful opportunity to learn, to express, to empathize and to progress as a people, especially film done well. Back in my college days Film Studies was part of my degree and I absolutely loved every minute in class! What could be better than watching different movies from diverse genre, spanning across many decades? To top it off my professor was one of those people who could aptly tie history to film to science to politics to religion, effortlessly. While I’m no longer receiving a grade for my study of film, I do still enjoy a broad range of movies and feel blessed to live on Maui where other movie buffs can gather together each year to revel in cinema, food, music and community.


My hubby and I at the 2013 Maui Film Festival.

The 2014 Maui Film Festival is set to happen June 4-8, 2014. Below are the venues available for the festival, and if you’re on island, I highly recommend you check them out:

  • Celestial Cinema: Wailea Gold & Emerald Golf Course, Wailea, Hawaii.
  • Seaside Cinema, Music Cafe & Sunset Lounge: Grand Wailea, Wailea, Hawaii.
  • Maui Arts and Cultural Center: Castle Theater & McCoy Theater, Kahului, Hawaii.
  • Toes-in-the-Sand Cinema: Wailea Beach, Wailea, Hawaii.

Whether you’re a tourist visiting during the festival or a long-time resident, I encourage you to make attending a priority!

Why you need to go to the Maui Film Festival:

1. An awesome, diverse selection of films. My personal favorites are the surf movies at Celestial Cinema. There’s nothing more amazing than sitting under a blanket of stars on this beautiful Hawaiian island, gathered with other ocean lovers, enjoying surf cinema together.

The Maui Film Festival in Wailea, Hawaii.Photo Credit: Randy Jay Braun

2. Unique, elegant events. I remember my first summer on Maui and all of the ladies in my neighborhood excitedly talking about finally getting to dress up for an event…The Taste of Wailea! Of course, for chocolate lovers there’s The Taste of Chocolate, too!

Taste of Chocolate 1Photo Credit: Randy Jay Braun

3. Movie stars. Yup, our small island boasts our fair share of celebs, and the Maui Film Festival brings in a few more, as they honor several each year with various awards. This year’s award tributes go to the following people: Shep Gordon, Emma Roberts, Evan Rachel Wood, Joe Manganiello and Lupita Nyong’o. There are even various Filmmakers Panels, where you get to hear directly from the filmmakers, which is like a dream come true for a gal like me!

How to score a deal on Maui Film Festival tickets:

One word: Volunteer.
I absolutely love volunteering at the Maui Film Festival! Keith Ranney is the festival’s Volunteer Manager and does an excellent job of training, encouraging and bringing lots of aloha to the volunteers and community. If you can spare a few hours of your time, you will be rewarded greatly for your efforts. According to the festival website, “each four-hour volunteer shift entitles you to three movie vouchers good at this year’s festival. An evening at the Celestial Cinema in Wailea requires two vouchers per person, so if you work two shifts, you will have earned an evening at the Celestial Cinema for you and two friends (or 3 nights just for you).” You’ll also get a cool festival t-shirt!

The volunteers create a lei of aloha through their service, attitude & availability to patrons’ needs.
-Keith Ranney, Volunteer Manager

The festival still needs about 200 volunteer shifts to be filled.  The most needed area is 9pm to 1am at the Celestial Cinema. Visit the Maui Film Festival Volunteer page to sign up for your shift and score a deal, i.e. FREE FILM TICKETS!!!

Note: Keiki (12 and under) are admitted FREE to Celestial Cinema at the Wailea Gold & Emerald Golf Course on Wednesday, June 4 (Goddess) and Thursday, June 5 (Thundercloud and H2MexicO)!

How to glam it up at the Maui Film Festival:

Taste of Wailea-Randy-Jay-BraunPhoto Credit: Randy Jay Braun

As mentioned before, there are several specialty events in conjunction with the festival. There are also V.I.P. Passes available, so if that’s more of a fit for you, you are certain to enjoy the glamorous offerings the festival provides.

I want people to leave the cinema feeling that something’s been confirmed for them about life.

-Danny Boyle


Other cool deets about the Maui Film Festival:

There’s often hula, live music, and wonderful food vendors!

It’s an eco-friendly event!

I will be there!!!

For more information about the Maui Film Festival, including film passes, showings, times, locations and more, please visit Maui Film Festival. If you’re into the social media scene, be sure to use hashtag #MauiFilm for all of your tweets and instagram pics. I hope to see you there…if not this year, then save the date for next year! And hopefully, just as Danny Boyle said, you will leave the cinema feeling that something’s been confirmed for you about life.

Livin’ la vida aloha,
Jennifer Poppy


About Jennifer Poppy

Jennifer Poppy is livin’ la vida aloha on Maui, Hawaii. Have you ever held a dream in your heart? One of Jennifer’s came true when she and her family sold their home, their car & their stuff to move to Hawaii! She says this lifelong dream, turned ongoing adventure has been worth it all. She is a freelance writer, public speaker and creative soul. You’ll find her beautiful photography, upcycled furniture projects and stories of island adventures at Island Gypsy Hawaii




#PeaceLoveHaiku – The 21st Annual Haiku Ho’olaule’a & Flower Festival – April 12, 2014


With a hashtag like #PeaceLoveHaiku you just know that the 21st Annual Haiku Ho’olaule’a & Flower Festival is going to be amazing! You may be asking yourself, is this just a place for flower lovers? Is this like the Rose Bowl with a bunch of floats covered in flowers? The short answer: Nope! The long answer: This free festival is for everyone, local residents and tourists alike. The added bonus: this event helps the keiki of Haiku with the proceeds going to Haiku Elementary School, the Haiku Boys & Girls Club, and the Haiku Community Association.


If you’re planning on being in Maui on Saturday, April 12, 2014, take the drive to Haiku, Hawaii, on the North Shore of Maui, for an event you are sure to never forget!

10 Reasons to Go to the Haiku Ho’olaule’a & Flower Festival:

Note: This list is in no particular order…I find them all equally amazing!

1. Yummy Food. This festival is a spot for foodies, no doubt. “Restaurant Row” features local Maui restaurants, caterers & food trucks, so you can try some of the best cuisine Maui has to offer, all in one location! Just to name a few of this year’s restaurant row businesses: Mana Foods, Flatbread in Paia and Life Foods Inc., all 100% donors to the festival (i.e. all funds will go back to the keiki in Haiku). In addition, Haiku School PTA provides ono grinds in Kau Kau Row. And there are plenty of delicious baked goods in the Famous Haiku School Bake Sale!


2. Fun People. With over 7,000 attendees each year, you are sure to meet some fun, interesting people from all over the world!


3. Live Entertainment. From live music to dance and acrobatic performers, you are sure to enjoy the great entertainment lineup including Divino and the Maui Ohana Band, Maui Underground and more!


4. Help Keiki. As mentioned before, the proceeds for the festival go to help the kids of Haiku Elementary, Haiku Boys & Girls Club, as well as the Haiku Community Association. It doesn’t get much better than helping keiki.

5. Maui Farmers. Love farm fresh veggies? Flowers? Plants? Then come shake a Maui farmer’s hand and take home some Hawaii-grown produce for yourself.

6. Keiki Zone. This festival is fun for the whole family! The kids will have a blast playing carnival games, jumping in the bounce houses, face painting, getting their hair done in our Haiku hair booth, playing Mauisaurus Mini Golf, and kids’ entertainment at the Keiki Stage, just to name a few activities. And don’t forget to bring the swimsuits and towels – there will be water bouncers and a dunk tank, too!

Haiku Festival_Joyce_Chin

7. Unique Auction. From local artists’ pieces to amazing baskets filled with items to upcycled art like a surfboard turned mosaic outdoor shower, this silent auction is one of the most unique ones on the island. Come see what you can find!

8. Green Awareness. The festival continues to make a concerted effort in being greener. In fact, you are encouraged to bring your own water bottle for refills, plates and utensils for food, and your own shopping bag to eliminate even more waste. Living on a tiny island, being green is key.



9. Book Swap. Get a head start on your Spring cleaning by decluttering some of your unwanted books. The Haiku Elementary Library hosts a Book Swap where you get one book buck for every ten books donated. Stock up on new-to-you books and support the school library. While you’re at it, you’ll get to meet Holly Gates, the school librarian. Read more here.

10. Made in Hawaii. Meet local artists, crafters and vendors in the Crafters Marketplace, then take home a unique Made in Hawaii craft for yourself!

I’ll be taking photos at the festival this year and would love to see you there as well! If you live on Maui and would like to volunteer for the festival, you may sign up online here. If you are a Made in Hawaii crafter, local business or non-profit, farmer, restaurant, etc. to get in the festival brochure please apply online by March 12 (sorry, I uploaded this past the deadline :( – Liza). You may register a booth after the deadline, however, your name won’t make the brochure. For more information on this fun, free event contact Co-Chair Jennifer Oberg at or visit #PeaceLoveHaiku

With mucho aloha,
Jennifer Poppy

Note: A special “mahalo” to the 2013 festival photographers: Sean M. Hower, Peter Liu and Joyce Chin.

Jennifer of Island Gypsy HawaiiAbout the Guest Blogger: Jennifer Poppy was born & raised in Texas but has always been an island girl at heart. After moving to Maui in 2012 her lifelong dream of living in Hawaii came true! She sees beauty in the ordinary and has a passion for turning trash into treasure. Follow her Hawaii adventures, upcycling projects and lifestyle photography at

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