17th Annual

Maui Film Festival

June 15, 2016 to June 19, 2016

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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CLOSED FOR THE SEASON • Information may be outdated.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.

Original Cinema is the rocket fuel that powers the Maui Film Festival and helps reveal the Festival's character, passion, focus, vision and soul.

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


"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

Each year, 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 Culinary Arts Celebrations that include the Taste of Summer Launch Party, Taste of Wailea, Taste of Chocolate, Filmmaker Brunch and VIP Party at Spago.

According to the prestigious Hawaii Tourism Authority, the Maui Film Festival is one of only six "Signature Cultural Events and Major Festivals" in Hawaii-and the only one that takes place on Maui.

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, The Hollywood Reporter, Huffungton Post, iMDb, indieWIRE, Bravo, CNN, Entertainment Tonight, Starz Cinema, CNN Headline New, Jimmy Kimmel Live, E! (US + Intl), Moving Pictures, People.com. E! Entertainment News, The Late Show and Late, Late Show in CBS, MSN.com, USA Today, 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 15-20,000. The festival has had the honor of screening films with budgets between $5,000 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 three state-of-the-art outdoor "theaters", the 2,000+ seat 35mm, HDCam, BluRay and Dolby Digital equipped Celestial Cinema, and the 500+ capacity Toes-in-the-Sand Cinema (formerly known as the SandDance Theater).

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. 2015’s program included Move & Mercy, Mr. Holmes, Learning to Drive, Planetary, Landfill Harmonic, Unexpected, Live from New York!, The Search fro Freedom and Racing Extinction. 2014's program included: Begin Again, Tracks, The Skeleton Twins, Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon, Slingshot, Awake: The Life of Yogananda, God Help the Girl, Chinese Puzzle, The Grand Seduction and Obvious Child.

Noteworthy films screening in in earlier years included: Beasts of the Southern WIld, Samsara, Liberal Arts, The Intouchables, People Like Us, Lola Versus, The Art of Rap, Big Easy Express, Short Term 12, The Way, Way Back, 20 Feet From Stardom, The East, Much Ado About Nothing and Hawaiian: The Legend of Eddie Aikau, Decoding Deepak, Waste Land, Nowhere Boy, The TIllman Story, Beginners, Life in a Day, happythankyoumoreplease, Submarine, The Future, Another Earth, The Freebie, Queen of the Sun, The Concert, Boy, Cyrus, 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;, Son of Rambow, Once, Bottle Shock, Surf's Up, The Illusionist, Garden State, The Notebook, Chicken Run and Step into Liquid among many others.

2015 Festival Honorees included Colin Farrell, Laura Dern, Scott Eastwood,Teresa Palmer and Academy Award winning documentary filmmaker Louis Psyhoyos. Recent past honorees have included: Lupita Nyong'o, Emma Roberts, Joe Manganiello, Evan Rachel Wood, Jessica Chastain, Andrew Garfield, Olivia Wilde, Elizabeth Banks, Zac Efron 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 & the Maui Film Festival 'Ohana (family)

ORGANIZERS: Barry Rivers, Jen Jacobsen, Rich Tully; Naomi Adams and Sandy Gow.


Barry Rivers; Jen Jacobsen; Jen Jacobsen; Jen Jacobsen; Naomi Adams; Rich Tully; Sandy Gow (Database Designer)


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
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 be marked "For Festival Screening Only."

Completion Date - Films must have been completed no earlier than January 1st, 2015.

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, HDCAM, BluRay or 35mm. All accepted DCP projects must provide filmmaker’s preference of an HDCAM or BluRay for back-up.
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 - Entries will not be accepted that have screened publicly at another Film Festival or Special Screening anywhere in Hawaii or have, or will have been broadcast anywhere in the U.S. before September 30, 2016.

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 screening of any 2015 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, 2016.

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. The Maui Film Festival will not pay international shipping on US 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.

Please note that if we accept other Media Files in addition to Secure Online Screeners (such as .AVI, .MPG, .FLV, .MOV, .WMV), please note that they will not be uploaded to Withoutabox and to please contact us directly at info@mauifilmfestival.com.


You hereby grant the Maui Film Festival ("Festival") all rights necessary to exhibit and promote the above-referenced film at the 2016 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 3rd, 2016. 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 complimentary screening of any 2016 Maui Film Festival Audience Award and/or other Special Award winning films so long as such screening takes place prior to September 30, 2016.