Each year, the Maui Film Festival presents FirstLight - Academy Screenings on Maui, an outstanding array of feature films that may never reach Maui audiences through other channels.
The folks at Maui Film Festival have outdone themselves by bringing 47 films to the Maui Arts & Cultural Center (MACC) through Friday, Dec.30. The selection includes over 30 independent film Spirit Award nominees and 33 premieres.
The big screen and state-of-the-art sound system at the Castle Theater makes it the perfect venue for viewing these films.
“Hugo” is the astonishing adventure of a wily and resourceful boy whose quest to unlock a secret left to him by his father will transform Hugo and all those around him, and reveal a safe and loving place he can call home (Monday, Dec. 26, at noon).
You'll find movies for just about every taste and age.
There are movies with great music makers, such as the legendary Bob Marley and rockers who are also fathers ("The Other F Word"). Festival favorites and award-winning films include "The Artist" (New York Film Critics' Award for Best Film), "Pariah" (Gotham Award for Breakthrough Director, Dee Rees) and "The Iron Lady" (New York Film Critics' Award for Best Actress, Meryl Streep).
Surprising new movies from seasoned directors include "Hugo," an imaginative kids' adventure directed by Martin Scorsese, and "J Edgar," a bio-drama about J. Edgar Hoover directed by Clint Eastwood. There are also elegant small films worth seeing, such as "W.E." a story about Wallis Simpson and King Edward VIII directed by Madonna.
Daring choices by A-list stars include Glenn Close portraying an Irish butler (a woman passing as a man) named "Albert Nobbs" and Jennifer Garner along with Hugh Jackman in a satire about a "Butter" carving competition.
Closing out the FirstLight series are popular and inspiring films: Emilio Estevez directs his father, Martin Sheen, in "The Way"-a life story about pilgrimage and the challenges of navigating a complicated world. An African adventure, "Oka!," tells the story of a forest-dwelling tribe of Bayaka pygmies who are battling a logging company intent on destroying their home. Screen idol Brad Pitt stars in "Moneyball"-based on a true story about the Oakland A's baseball team and its manager, who challenged tradition and the system.
Tickets for a single screening are $12 each; a FastPass offers four admissions for $40.
Call the MACC Box Office at 242-SHOW (7469) or see MauiArts.org for details.
A variety of Maui's restaurants and caterers will serve pre-show meals in Yokouchi Pavilion Courtard before most screenings.