MISSION & OBJECTIVE
The Maui Film Festival strongly believes in the power of Original Cinema and in its ability to move culture, shift paradigms and meaningfully help to create a future worthy of today and seven generations to come.

We exist to ignite passions, visions and missions in our ‘Ohana (extended family) and yours to reveal the essence of life on Earth.

Simply put, whether sharing fictional stories or documenting reality, Original Cinema is the window through which we best see ourselves and and explore humankind’s triumphs and challenges. And doing it all while opening our hearts and minds to the ongoing tug-of-war with our planet's astonishing natural beauty and its threatened ecosystems and cultures.

In short, the Maui Film Festival strives to be a 'jewel box’ film festival that digs deep to find cinematic diamonds in coal mines and share them with all our patrons and the planet we all share.

FOR THOSE NEW TO THE MAUI FILM FESTIVAL, WE HAVE INCLUDED A FEW PARAGRAPHS THAT FOLLOW BELOW ABOUT THE FESTIVAL’S HISTORY AND 2021 MFF STRATEGIC PLANS.
IF YOU’D PREFER TO GET RIGHT TO THE DETAILS OF FILM SUBMISSION, FIND THEM BELOW IN THE "WELCOME TO THE “JEWEL-BOX” PARAGRAPH.

OUR ORIGIN STORY
Since its inaugural year in 2000, the Maui Film Festival has produced an under-the-stars and lit-by-the-moon film festival and culinary arts celebration. Starting with its 10th annual event in 2010, the Maui Film Festival evolved into a one-of-a-kind solar powered open air festival presenting a panorama of global cinema with a shared commitment to the presentation of compassionate vision and transformative storytelling.

2020 COVID-19 IMPACT
Despite Herculean efforts to produce an ‘in-the-real-not-virtual-world’ event, everything changed in 2020 when, despite the Festival’s near endless attempts to mitigate the health and safety challenges of the COVID-19 Pandemic, all to no avail, the Maui Film Festival staff was, in the last five days of 2020, able to eventually present a robust 2020 Maui Film Festival Speed-of-Light Virtual Cinema which presented 70 Films — 22 Features and 54 Short Films from more than 25 countries, including the U.S., from around the world.

2021 STRATEGIC PLAN
As of this writing, with so many permutations of exactly what the future of large gatherings will be in the second half of 2021, the Maui Film Festival will present an event worthy of submitting filmmakers’ consideration and support. For selected films, whatever the final disposition on what the 2021 Maui Film Festival will be, it will be an event worthy of both its longstanding reputation for excellence and each selected filmmaker’s talent and creativity.

CONSIDER YOURSELF INVITED
We welcome you to share your work with us and want to be clear, that regardless of what the now unknown status of the COVID-19 coronavirus may be months from now, all submission fees received will be returned should any circumstances mandate cancelling the 2021 Maui Film Festival, ALL submission fees will be returned within 10 business days.

WELCOME TO THE “JEWEL-BOX"
IndieWIRE knows a good thing when it sees it. That’s why they 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, with the Hollywood Reporter, Variety, The Los Angeles Times, CNN, E!, Entertainment Tonight and Vanity Fair all reporting on its goings-on.”

Every year since its inaugural year of 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.

The only exception was in 2020 when the coronavirus made presenting an "in-the-real-world" event impossible. Rising to the challenge, the festival instead replaced the template for its previous twenty years with its first ever 70 films wide, 24 days long and 25+ nations deep. It’s name - The Maui Film Festival Speed-of-Light Virtual Cinema.
For details visit: https://www.mauifilmfestival.com/speedoflightfilms.
To view audience award winners visit: https://www.mauifilmfestival.com/audience-award-winners.

WHAT MOVES US
We come to work every morning to celebrate filmmakers, from the U.S and around the planet and their projects, by curating and supporting emerging and established voices with innovative explorations of life well-lived via screenings, tributes and panels.

Eligible projects include feature films (run time 40 minutes +) and short films (run time less than 40 minutes); including Narrative, Documentary, Animated and Experimental films.

Visit https://www.mauifilmfestival.com/waileafestival to view a small portion of the overall collection of our 2000-2019 films.

As 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.

In addition, among others, the list of outlets that have covered the Maui Film Festival has included: Associated Press, International Herald Tribune, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Vanity Fair, LA Weekly, People, Rolling Stone, Screen International, USA Today, Vanity Fair, VH1 Music, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, E! Online, Entertainment Weekly, The Hollywood Reporter, Huffington Post, indieWIRE, Bravo, CNN, Entertainment Tonight, Jimmy Kimmel Live, E! (US + Intl), Late Night CNN International, Modern Luxury Hawaii, Angeleno, San Francisco Magazine and Los Angeles Magazine.

The festival has had the honor of screening films, with budgets between $50,000 and $100,000,000, that have been provided by major studios and their mini-major divisions, independent distributors and both longtime and first-time filmmakers.

We also take great pride in our hard earned reputation in the industry as reflected in the kind words from two highly regarded pillars of the industry — Variety and The Hollywood Reporter who honored us with these kudos….

The Hollywood Reporter wrote "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.”

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 not least, Variety, the often cited 'Bible of the Entertainment Industry’, reported that the “The Maui Film Festival is growing as an international destination for cineastes and industry insiders and is becoming the circuit's favorite sun-baked sibling while celebrating 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 and we look forward to viewing your submission and thoughtfully considering it for inclusion in exemplary 2021 MFF film program.

Whether expanding the mind through mindfulness, psychedelic journeys, the joy and rush of extreme sports, the search for multi-cultural empathy, shared pleasures or immersing oneself in lives, actual or fictional, protecting and celebrating the planet, it's people and their kaleidoscopically unique art forms — to explore, reveal and enlighten their audience’s world view through Original Cinema is one hell of a ride. Jump on board!

"The Maui Film Festival exceeded my expectations. It’s one of the best places anywhere to launch a movie.” — Trevor Groth, Longtime Programming Director, Sundance Film Festival

OUR STAFF
Barry Rivers serves as the founder/director of the Maui Film Festival alongside, and with the much appreciated above and beyond support of the 700+ talented, dedicated, uber-competent and creative staff, artisans, activists and festival volunteers who collectively all share our commitment to manifesting positive and sustainable cultural change with an ever-expanding wave of Original Cinema in 2021 and beyond!

2020 AUDIENCE AWARDS

UNLESS A FILM CHOOSES NOT TO PARTICIPATE, ACCEPTED FILMS ARE ELIGIBLE TO WIN AUDIENCE AWARDS. Selected projects from all categories will be presented to the public at the 21st Annual Maui Film Festival.

THE FESTIVAL WILL ALSO PROVIDE TWO COMPLIMENTARY FILMMAKER PASSES TO EACH ACCEPTED FEATURE FILM AND ONE COMPLIMENTARY FILMMAKER PASS TO EACH ACCEPTED SHORT FILM.

FILMMAKER PASSES ARE IDENTICAL IN THEIR INCLUSIONS AND AGE RESTRICTION TO THE COSMOS PASS. VIEW DETAILS AT: http://www.mauifilmfestival.com/2020-savings-now
COMPLIMENTARY FILMMAKER COMP PASSES ARE OF NO CASH VALUE, MAY NOT BE SOLD TO THIRD PARTIES AND ARE NON-TRANSFERABLE.

FILM SUBMISSION TERMS and DEADLINES
All film submissions must be shipped prepaid and packed in proper containers postmarked no later than their respective deadlines.
Since submission of a project constitutes acceptance of these Entry Rules & Regulations (by you and your agents), please review this document carefully.

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, All Accepted, that may in time be accepted into the 2021 Maui Film Festival, and who are providing either BluRay discs or U.S. compatible DCP format — whether they are provided on ideally Thumb Drives, with sufficient capacity for clutch-free projection, OR External Hard Drives 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). DCPs and BluRay Discs should also be marked "For Festival Screening Only. No Commercial Value.”

* To be considered for inclusion in the 2021 Maui Film Festival film program, films may only be submitted online using FilmFreeway where they can upload their film to be streamed or, if preferred to a password-protected URL on Vimeo.

* Completion Date - Films must have been completed no earlier than January 1st, 2020.

* Accompanying Materials - Incomplete entries will not be considered. Regardless of what method filmmakers choose for the festival to view their entry, all submitted films must fill out the FilmFreeway submission form. The required information must minimally include a film synopsis and a complete principal cast and production credits. Festival screenings history and premiere designation, if any.

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

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

* Presentation - Selected films must be made available for Festival presentation in DCP or BluRay. All accepted DCP projects must ideally also, if available, provide a BluRay disc for back-up. Why? Because on rare occasion — thankfully three times only out of 300+ screenings — when a DCP, ideally on a sufficiently sized thumb drive, has arrived with technical glitches, BluRay back-up has been a 100% fail-safe fall back position.

* 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 Hawai'i-based film festival.
Films screening or scheduled to screen on any other internet, cable broadcast, online streaming, digital download On Demand or any other method not specifically noted in this paragraph, before and one day following its availability at the 2021 Maui Film Festival will not be accepted.

* 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 2021 Maui Film Festival Audience Award and/or other Special Award winning films as long as such screening takes place prior to December 31, 2021.

* Format - All films must be submitted online as noted above in the “Presentation’ paragraph. All entries, and accompanying materials, will not be returned and will become the property of the Maui Film Festival.

* 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.

* DCP and BluRay Labeling - Preview DCPs and BluRays must be labeled with the film title, running time, FilmFreeway tracking # and contact information (including name, address, email 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 films 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 can be used to promote the Maui Film Festival 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.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS
You hereby grant the Maui Film Festival ("Festival") all rights necessary to exhibit and promote the above-referenced film at the 2021 Maui Film 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 TBD. 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.

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • I had a really seamless experience working with Maui Film Festival. They were efficient, kind, and had such a great selection of films. We were honored to be chosen among them. I really hope to visit the festival in person!

    February 2021
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    Response from festival:

    Aloha and Thanks for your kind words Heather. It means a lot to all of us who co-created the event hope to present your work down the road. Barry Rivers, MFF Founder/Director

  • This festival has adapted to the particular circumstances of this year. Uploading the films was easy to access. Thanks to the organizers ,.

    January 2021
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    Response from festival:

    Thanks for the kind words. They are much appreciated. We wish you all good things in your future projects.

  • Harry Lowell

    Truly one of the most unique film festivals anywhere. Shoulder-to-shoulder with celebrities, filmmakers and lovers of cinema under the gorgeous Maui skies-- in the primarily open-air venue. The relaxed, casual environment is conducive to easy networking and true filmmaking camaraderie. Bring your flip-flops, Hawaiian shirts and get ready for some fantastic cinema, filmmaker discussions, panels and opportunities to connect.

    June 2019