19th Annual

Maui Film Festival

June 13, 2018 to June 17, 2018

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PO Box 790669
Paia HI 96779
Phone: 808-579-9244

CLOSED FOR THE SEASON • Information may be outdated. Add this event to your Watch List and set a Remind-Me if you want to be notified when the next Call For Entries is posted.

General Submissions


The Maui Film Festival believes in the power of Original Cinema.

Simply put Original Cinema provides the rocket fuel that powers the Maui Film Festival and allows us to ignite our passion, focus our vision, honor our mission, reveal our character and soothe our collective souls.

When filmmakers explore what it means to be human alongside Humankind's relationship to all Life, Original Cinema can move culture and shift paradigm, moves culture and build a future worthy of generations yet unborn.

Thats where you come in!

Whether your ultimate goal is to simply and meaningfully share your story with the world, make a living doing what you love, or one day winning an Academy Award®, Spirit Award®, Golden Globe Award®, Webby Award®, Maui Film Festival Audience Award or whatever else — or you couldn't care less about awards at all — if you’ve got something to say that’s worthy an audience’s time and attention, and your work can be described as a truly ‘moving’ picture, the Festival’s Submission Review Team encourages you to submit your work for consideration.

Also worth noting is that in 2018, in addition to our longstanding consideration of both shorts and features — narrative, documentary, animated, experimental, whatever — for the first time the 2018 Maui Film Festival plans to present Special Showcases for the following specific categories:

1. ‘Mobile Movies’ — Projects 100% shot on iPhone and Android mobile devices;

2. ‘Hero Shots’ — Projects 100% shot on GoPro cameras;

3. ‘Rhythm & Hues’ — Music Videos (shorts or features);

4. 'Brands Take Stands!’ — Recognizing specifically co-created content in partnership between filmmakers and brands to educate, celebrate and generate mandates for changing what is to what might be.

5. 'It Lives Online!’ — Web series, periodic short form webisodes, one-of-a-kind and genre-bending storytelling created with the intention of living an online, rather than traditional theatrical, life.

Selected submissions from the five 2018 Maui Film Festival Special Showcase category, described immediately above, will be presented at the 2018 Maui Film Festival and/or on the Festival’s website during the Festival.

If your 'pride and joy’ — and yes blood, sweat and tears — production is accepted into the Maui Film Festival get ready to fasten your seatbelt for one of the most special experiences in the global film festival universe.

We hope you choose to submit your work and allow the Maui Film Festival the honor and privilege of considering it for inclusion in 2018’s event.

And we wish you all the best this time around and in all your future endeavors.


"The Maui Film Festival exceeded my expectations. The Celestial Cinema is mind-blowing! It's also one of the best places anywhere in the world to launch a movie." — Trevor Groth, Director of Programming, Sundance Film Festival

Since 2000, the Maui Film Festival has presented five days and nights of under-the-stars Film Premieres, Special Screenings, Festival Tributes, Filmmakers Panels, and world-class Special Events and Culinary Arts Celebrations. They’ve included our Taste of Summer Opening Reception at the Grand Wailea, VIP Soiree at Spago, Taste of Chocolate at the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea, Filmmaker Brunch at Longhi’s at the Shops at Wailea, Taste of Wailea at Wailea Gold & Emerald Golf Course and (as of this writing) a Starry Night Moondance Closing Night Party at a spectacular new location (to be revealed soon).

More importantly, from the perspective of filmmakers considering submitting their work for consideration, the Festival has also been hailed as "Hawaii's Answer to Sundance" in the Los Angeles Times by respected entertainment writer John Horn.

indieWIRE has described the Maui Film Festival as a "jewel-box festival-able to handle anything without becoming unwieldy or impersonal. Flawlessly planned. Watch for even greater things to come. The national press is taking notice and reporting on its goings-on.”

Among others, this list includes: Associated Press, Hollywood Reporter, International Herald Tribune, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Vanity Fair, LA Weekly, People, Premiere, Rolling Stone, Screen International, USA Today, Vanity Fair, Variety, VH1 Music,Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, AOL, E! Online, Entertainment Weekly, FilmFestivals.com, The Hollywood Reporter, Huffungton Post, iMDb, indieWIRE, Bravo, CNN, Entertainment Tonight, Starz Cinema, CNN Headline New, Jimmy Kimmel Live, E! (US + Intl), Moving Pictures, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Late Night with David Letterman, Movie Television, Reelz Channel USWeekly.com, CNN International, Modern Luxury Hawaii, Angeleno, San Francisco Magazine and Los Angeles Magazine.

Each year's event also features an eclectic 'jewel box' program of approximately 40 narrative, documentary and international features and short film 'gems' that are enjoyed by a diverse audience of 15,000+. The festival has had the honor of screening films, with budgets between $50,000 and $75,000,000, that have been provided by major studios and their mini-major divisions, independent distributors and first-time filmmakers.

Film premiere and special screenings take place primarily within the Wailea Resort at the Festival’s under-the-stars, lit -by-the-moon and (literally) powered-by-the-sun open air “theaters” including the 2,000+ seat Celestial Cinema, and the 500+ capacity Toes-in-the-Sand Cinema.

Festival screenings are also held at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center's 500 seat Castle Theater and/or the beautifully refurbished 250+ seat McCoy Theater.

Since its inception, many critically acclaimed films have graced the silver screens at the Festival's open-air and majestic indoor venues.

2017’s program included: Captain Fantastic, Tanna, Hunt for the Wilderpeople,Southside with You, Sweet Bean, Strike a Pose, The Seer, My Blind Brother and Mad Dogs,

Noteworthy films that have screened in previous years include: Love & Mercy, Racing Extinction, Captain Fantastic, Tanna, Hunt for the Wilderpeople. Mr. Holmes, Landfill Harmonic, Unexpected, Live from New York!, The Search for Freedom, Begin Again, Tracks, Short Term 12, The Way, Way Back, 20 Feet From Stardom, Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon, Slingshot, Awake: The Life of Yogananda, The Grand Seduction, Obvious Child, Beasts of the Southern WIld, Samsara, The Intouchables, People Like Us, The Art of Rap, The East, Much Ado About Nothing and Hawaiian: The Legend of Eddie Aikau, Waste Land, Beginners,Queen of the Sun, Boy, The Cove, The Visitor, Young @ Heart, 500 Days of Summer, Mad Hot Ballroom, Hustle and Flow, Whale Rider, Napoleon Dynamite, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Waitress, Food Inc., Once, Bottle Shock, Surf's Up, The Illusionist, Garden State, The Notebook, Chicken Run and Step into Liquid among many others.

2017 Festival Honorees included Karen Gillan, Pierce Brosnan, Connie Britton and Freida Pinto. 2016’s honorees included Bryan Cranston, Viola Davis, Michael B. Jordan. Recent past honorees have included: Lupita Nyong'o, Emma Roberts, Evan Rachel Wood, Jessica Chastain, Andrew Garfield, Olivia Wilde, Elizabeth Banks, Zac Efron, Colin Farrell, Laura Dern, Scott Eastwood,Teresa Palmer, Academy Award winning documentary filmmaker Louis Psyhoyos and Claire Danes.

As noted in much of the press coverage that the Festival has received over the years, the Maui Film Festival is also widely known for the quality of its highly placed industry attendees and honorees.

The Hollywood Reporter has written that "The Maui Film Festival is the embodiment of relaxed elegance providing ample opportunity to enjoy stargazing of both the Hollywood and heavenly varieties shoulder-to-shoulder with its A-List honorees." And the mavens at independent film's touchstone 'publication' indieWIRE noted that "The Maui Film Festival Serves Up Feasts, Stars and Enlightenment. It's where the seaside rules and studio execs retreat and where there's enough A-list presence on and off screen to make it an island celebration deserving of its industry recognition.”

Last but nor least, Variety-the often cited 'Bible of the Entertainment Industry' recently reported that "Growing as an international destination for cineastes and industry insiders.the Maui Film Festival, the film festival circuit's favorite sun-baked sibling, continues to celebrate cinema from the intersection of smart and heart. With open-air screenings, the festival once again ditches traditional Hollywood devices like black ties and red carpets for flip-flops, all for the sake of a more intimate experience. The fest's lineup, which includes Hollywood fare (alongside) a selection of smaller cinematic endeavors from around-the-world that focus on human triumph.”

We hope you'll choose to honor us with your submission. We look forward to viewing it and thoughtfully considering it for inclusion in this year's exemplary film program.

Aloha, Barry Rivers, Director and the Maui Film Festival 'ohana (family)

ORGANIZERS Barry Rivers and an ‘Ohana (Family) of more than 250 talented, dedicated, uber-competent and creative activists and volunteers committed to positive and sustainable cultural change through Original Cinema.


Barry Rivers; Barry Rivers (Festival Director); Barry Rivers (Festival Director); Cynthia Pegolo (Executive Assistant)


Submission Deadline - All film submissions must be shipped prepaid and packed in proper containers postmarked no later than their respective deadlines.

Definitions of Categories and Terms:

* Print Source - The company or representative that will be providing the film print to the festival (This is not the film lab).

* International Sales Agent - The company or representative that is in charge of selling the film rights worldwide.

* International Shipping Information BluRays or DVDs sent from outside the United States must be accompanied by a commercial invoice containing the film's title, run time, format (color or B&W), value of shipment and sender's name and address). DVDs and BluRay Discs should also be marked "For Festival Screening Only. No Commercial Value.”

* Films may also be submitted online using Withoutabox.com’s Maui Film Festival submissions data base and website.

* Completion Date - Films must have been completed no earlier than January 1st, 2017. Accompanying Materials - Incomplete entries will not be considered.

The following materials must be included with each DVD and BluRay submission:

Entry Confirmation Form with film description, running time and Contact Information

Synopsis - a short typed description of the film's content.

Credits - a complete principal cast and production credits

Presentation - Selected films must be made available for Festival presentation in DCP or BluRay.

All accepted DCP projects must provide filmmaker’s preference of a BluRay for back-up. Why a BluRay back-up? Because on very rare occasions, especially being in the middle of the ocean here on Maui and with limited options to rent additional equipment from within Hawaii, as well as the time it takes to get new rental equipment to Maui from the Mainland, having a technical ‘fail-safe’ position in place has proven to be a real ‘okole’ (Hawaiian for you-know-what) saver. Thanks for understanding. If your work is great, and that’s the only way it’ll get in, we want to make sure the screening goes off without a ‘hitch’ even if the ‘ghost in the machine’ has an attitude.

Language - Foreign language films must be made available with the original language soundtrack and English Subtitles.

Prior Screenings - Without prior exception in writing from the Maui Film Festival, submissions will not be accepted that have already screened, or are scheduled to be screened, publicly at a film festival or any other situation (internet, cable, broadcast, etc.) or be promoted publicly in Hawaii, prior to July 10, 2018 as available for download and/or streaming OnDemand anywhere in the U.S. (including Hawaii) prior July 10, 2018.

Prior Submission - Films previously submitted to Maui Film Festival will not be considered.

Additional Screenings - The Maui Film Festival reserves the right to host one additional complimentary screening of any 2017 Maui Film Festival at Wailea Audience Award and/or other Special Award winning films as long as such screening takes place prior to September 30, 2018.

Format - All films must be submitted as DVDs or BluRay discs. All entries, and accompanying materials, will not be returned and will become the property of the Maui Film Festival.

Accompanying Materials - Please include a printed copy of the Entry Confirmation Form with your submission DVD or BluRay. Incomplete entries will not be considered.

Entry Fee Waiver - The submission fee is waived for films that have 50% or more of the film footage shot in the State of Hawaii. No other waivers or exceptions will be granted.

DVD and BluRay Labeling - Preview DVDs and BluRays must be labeled with the film title, running time, WAB tracking # and contact information (including name, address and phone number).

Shipping - If a film is invited to participate, the film must be shipped prepaid, insured and packed in proper containers.

The Maui Film Festival will be responsible for return shipping charges but will not pay international shipping on U.S. films.

The Maui Film Festival does not assume any liability for damage to prints due to improper containers or otherwise. All films in our possession will be insured against damage or loss while participating in the festival.

Materials - Materials of films selected for screening become the property of the Maui Film Festival and can be used to promote the Maui Film Festival at Wailea and the programs of the Maui Film Festival in all mediums including film, television, radio, print and the internet.

Contact Information - By providing Maui Film Festival with your contact information, you agree to receive communication from us including submission confirmations and our email newsletters providing festival updates. Contact information will NOT be sold or shared with third parties.


You hereby grant the Maui Film Festival ("Festival") all rights necessary to exhibit and promote the above-referenced film at the 2018 Festival if the film is selected. You represent that such exhibition will not violate or infringe upon any rights whatsoever (including copyright, trademark, musical or contract right) of any person or entity.

You further represent that you are authorized to submit the above-referenced film and, if selected, will deliver the screening print to the Festival office no later than June 1st, 2018. Additionally, you indemnify the Festival from any and all claims, demands, losses, costs, damages, and attorney's fees arising out of or in connection with third parties in regard to the screening of said film.

Additional Screenings - The Maui Film Festival reserves the right to host one additional screening of any 2017 Maui Film Festival at Wailea Audience Award and/or other Special Award winning films so long as such screening takes place prior to September 30, 2018.