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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.

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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

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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

 

 

 

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Seabury Hall 41st Annual Craft Fair, Always the day before Mother’s Day, Saturday, May 10th, 2014

SEABURY HALL CREATING HOPE FOR A BRIGHTER FUTURE

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Come upcountry this weekend for Maui’s favorite springtime event! Seabury Hall will celebrate its 41st annual Craft Fair from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., on Saturday, May 10, 2014, on the Seabury Hall Campus in beautiful Upcountry Maui. The Craft Fair has been raising money for financial aid since 1973, giving hundreds of students the opportunity to pursue their dreams and hope for a brighter future.581530_359388947453263_1514316547_n

Always the day before Mother’s Day, the Seabury Hall Craft Fair is a day for delighting your senses and having fun! With more than 100 of Hawaii’s finest artists and crafters, live music by Maui entertainers, tantalizing food from some of Maui’s most outstanding restaurants, bargains galore at the silent auction, a huge rummage sale, fresh flowers, potted plants booths, a giant waterslide, plus games and bouncy rides for the kids ensure good fun for all.

Crafter exhibits are at the heart of the event, and you’ll find their tents scattered throughout much of the 11-acre campus. The juried craft show Pineapple ornamentsfeatures the work of some of Hawaii’s finest artisans and crafters – more than 100 in all – including woodworkers, traditional Hawaiian artists, jewelers, ceramists and weavers. It’s a relaxed setting for locating a unique “Made on Maui” gift that Mom will cherish.

Restaurant Row will be brimming with delicious food items from some of Maui’s most outstanding restaurants, with dishes ranging from local favorites to exotic fare of faraway places. The Cafe will feature homemade baked goods and treats, as well as fresh waffles with strawberries.

Kids love the keiki activities. Dress them in their swimsuits because it’s impossible to resist the thrilling Keiki Waterslide. Pony and miniature pony rides and a petting zoo provide additional fun for youngsters. They can also create unique and special from-the-heart gifts and cards for mom at the “Make a Craft for Mom” booth.532036_507495839309239_2754074_n

All proceeds from the fair support Seabury Hall’s financial aid program. Over 35% of Seabury Hall students receive some form of financial help through this fund. Without it, a Seabury Hall education would not be a reality for some of these students.

“With the goal of ensuring that financial need doesn’t get in the way of a Seabury Hall education, the parents, teachers and students work together for months in advance to prepare for the craft fair,” said Headmaster Joe Schmidt. “Seabury Hall’s Financial Aid Program provides deserving students an opportunity for a high-quality college preparatory education—which might otherwise be unobtainable for them—and also provide the school with a well-qualified student body reflecting a broad social and economic mix.”

415072_360637673995057_1742314131_o“The Seabury Hall Craft Fair has become a tradition for many Maui families, a way to extend Mother’s Day into an entire weekend,” says Gayle Hart, Seabury Hall’s parent coordinator and Associate Director of Development. “People from all over the island enjoy coming upcountry to ooh and ahh over the beautiful flowering trees, and spend a fun day on the 11-acre campus, eating delicious food, enjoying live entertainment and checking out the fun activities and exhibits.”

The Craft Fair is located on the Seabury Hall campus, at 480 Olinda Road, Makawao, Hawaii. Admission is $5 for adults. Children 12 and under are free. General parking is available at no charge, with premium parking for $10. Come and spend the day in beautiful upcountry Maui and bring the whole ohana.

To reach Seabury Hall, take Haleakala Highway to the traffic light at the intersection of Makawao Avenue. Turn left on Makawao Avenue and follow it into Makawao Town. At the four-way stop by Casanova’s Restaurant and Polli’s Restaurant, turn right onto Olinda Road. Go up the hill one mile. Free parking for the Seabury Hall Craft Fair is just past the entrance to the school on the left side of the road by the Oskie Rice Arena. For premium and handicap parking, follow the signs onto campus.

Information about the Seabury Hall Craft Fair can be found at www.seaburyhall.org For more information please call Gayle Hart at 572-7235.

About Seabury Hall: Seabury Hall is a non-profit private college preparatory school located on the island of Maui, Hawaii, and is affiliated with the Episcopal Church. It was founded in 1964, and serves middle and high school students. Seabury Hall was built upon sound principles of education that are current, relevant and future focused. Students are challenged to value excellence, perseverance, diversity, high personal standards and community. Seabury Hall is a designated Blue Ribbon School by the Department of Education. For more information about Seabury Hall please visit www.seaburyhall.org or call (808) 572-7235.

About the Guest Blogger: Nicole Shipman was born & raised in Hawaii and lives on Maui with her husband and their two daughters. She publishes the Maui Family Magazine and is the owner of Kuleana Productions. It’s her passion to keep families connected and involved! Website: www.mauifamilymagazine.com and www.beahulagirl.com

 

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Maui Matsuri 2014: A Festival You Don’t Want to Miss

Are you ready for the 14th Annual Maui Matsuri festival?

I don’t know about you, but I can hardly contain my excitement! I’ve already started working on a festival checklist, and the event is still a few weeks away!

  1. Charge camera phone for selfies & photo ops with Hello Kitty.
  2. Wear stretchy pants to accommodate food consumption.
  3. Go to the ATM for some spending money.
  4. Get pumped up & work up an appetite (refer back to “wear stretchy pants”).
  5. Bring reusable grocery bags for omiyage (gifts) & take-out food.
  6. Write a blog post about the festival. Check!

Maui Matsuri

“Matsuri” means “Japanese festival,” and the Maui Matsuri incorporates some of the most notable cultural exhibits, educational activities, entertainment and food in order to bring the community together to celebrate Japanese American history, heritage and culture on Maui. The event is produced for the public by a volunteer team, and admission is free.

The official theme of the festival is “kodomo no tame ni” or “for the sake of the children.” Each year, the popularity of Maui Matsuri grows, and there are thousands of people in attendance. Proceeds of the event go to the Japanese Cultural Society of Maui to support the work they do to preserve and perpetuate Japanese culture on Maui.

Maui Matsuri

The 2014 Maui Matsuri festivities will begin on Friday, May 2 for the kickoff event, featuring karaoke, taiko, kendama, obon odori (bon dance) practice, and more from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at Queen Ka’ahumanu Mall center stage.

The festivities continue the following weekend on Friday, May 9 with a storytelling night from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the University of Hawaii – Maui College student center (Pilina Building) in Kahului, followed by the actual Maui Matsuri festival on Saturday, May 10 from 2:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the University of Hawaii – Maui College great lawn or courtyard.

This is the first year that Maui Matsuri is introducing the storytelling night on Friday, May 9, and it will feature fables and stories from Hawaii and Japan, including obake (ghost) stories. One of the performers for this event will be Maui’s own “Tita,” radio personality, actress and emcee, Kathy Collins.

Here is a sneak peak into this year’s festival on Saturday, May 10:

  • Onolicious grinds (delicious food). What can be better than being able to savor fresh and tasty poke bowls, bento, abalone, teriyaki, chow fun, poi mochi and shave ice conveniently in one place? You only have to walk a few steps to get to all of these amazing food booths instead of driving all over town.

Maui Matsuri

  • Contests gallore. Maui Matsuri will have the following contests: eating (natto and saimin), hanafuda/sakura (Japanese card game), Cosplay (costume), video-gaming, kendama, and Manga (Japanese comic cartoon or anime) and art drawing. If you are competitive at heart, want to have fun with your friends, or just love to people-watch as others compete for prizes and bragging rights, this part of the festival is definitely for you.
  • Live entertainment and demonstrations. From taiko (Japanese drumming) and karate demonstrations, to Japanese singers like Hikariyama Torao, A.K.A. Tevita Apina (who also just won the karaoke contest at Kawaii Kon, by the way… wow!) and the group Bento Rakugo from Oahu that specializes in magic shows and variety acts. Bento Rakugo also tells obake (ghost) stories and will be performing on Friday, May 9 for the storytelling night.

Maui Matsuri

  • Kodomo (kids) corner. If you are looking for fun for the entire family, this is the place to be! The kids will enjoy a variety of activities, while the adults join in the fun, snap a few pictures, or simply take a moment to savor their chow fun and poi mochi. Some of the activities at this year’s festival include: make your own hachimaki (Japanese headband), gyotaku (fish printing & painting), and Japanese food games such as a colorful dango (rice dumpling) stacking game and takoyaki flipping.
  • Cultural exhibits. Bonsai, Mokichi Okada Association (MOA) Sangetsu flower arranging, Maui Ki-Aikido martial arts, Consulate General of Japan, and the art of calligraphy are just some of the many exhibits you can visit at this year’s festival.
  • Craft booths. Buy local. Support local. Meet local artists, crafters and vendors, many of whom feature Made in Maui or Made in Hawaii products.
  • Obon odori or bon dance (Japanese group dancing). Kickoff the Maui obon season with obon odori on the great lawn. Follow along and join in the dancing dressed as you are. No kimono or happi (pronounced “hoppy”) coat? No problem! T-shirts and rubba slippas welcome.

Maui Matsuri

Arigato (thanks) for your support, and I look forward to seeing you at the festival! As the P.R., Marketing & Social Media Chair for Maui Matsuri, I’m sure you will see me there. Look for the gal running around, taking photos, and posting about the event with the rest of our social media team. The other members of our social media team include: Brian Nagami, Jody Yoshida, Sherman Peros, Yuki Lei Sugimura and Kay Fukumoto. If you know any of them, please feel free to say “hi” and stop them for a photo op!

The festival website is www.mauimatsuri.com, and the official hashtag for the event is #MauiMatsuri. There will be 2 Instagram contests this year, and the winners will receive free festival t-shirts, so be sure to like/follow Maui Matsuri on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to get all the contest announcements.

Kashiko (sincerely yours),

Traci Giordano Silva

Silva GangAbout the Guest Blogger: Traci Giordano Silva is a freelance designer & writer at Miso Creative; partner & marketing specialist at Fukumoto Engineering (FE); PR, marketing & social media chair for Soroptimist Maui & the Maui Matsuri; & blogger & creator of “Life on a Silva Platter,” a whimsical blog focused on finding humor in life’s quirks. She lives on Maui with her hubby Mike & their “kids” (pet cats & dogs). She blogs for fun, loves making new friends in the blogosphere, & enjoys giving back to the community. Blog: www.silvagang.com. Twitter & Instagram: @SilvaGang

 

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

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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.

Haiku-Festival_Sean_Hower

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!

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

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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!

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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!

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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.

 

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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 haikuhoolaulea@gmail.com or visit http://haikuhoolaulea.org/. #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 islandgypsyhawaii.com.

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