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Experience Hawaiian culture at Lahaina Film Festival

LAHAINA – Bradda Francis Koahou said the MauiFEST Hawai’i Lahaina Film Festival “is a chance not only for the visitors, but for all our Maui families to experience our Hawaiian culture as it was meant to be.”

This free celebration of Hawaiian music, arts, culture and film will be held Saturday, Aug. 9, from 4 to 11 p.m. in Campbell Park next to The Wharf Cinema Center along Front Street.

Slack key guitar master Keola Beamer described the event.

“In short, MauiFEST Hawai’i Lahaina Film Fest brings people together in an environment that is family friendly. You can bring your kids, sit down on a blanket on the grass and share the aloha of your community and friends – all this, without cost. In my humble opinion, that is a win-win situation for Maui County,” he said.

“Kenny Martinez Burgmaier runs MauiFEST Hawai’i like extended ’ohana, and the Beamer ’ohana is proud to be a part of it,” Beamer commented.

Uncle Boy Kana’e of MauiFEST Hawai’i said the event was brought to Lahaina at the community’s request.

“Ken and I had been producing our MauiFEST Hawai’i Hana and Molokai Film Festivals for a few years, as a celebration of Hawaiian music, arts, culture and film. They have been embraced by the communities, giving local families and tourists an opportunity to experience a real Hawaiian film and music festival, all for free. We have also brought in world-renowned musicians in jazz, blues, world music and Hawaiian music genres, along with award-winning Polynesian films that include some world premieres,” he said.

“We were asked by many local families and business owners on the West Side of Maui to bring our event to Lahaina, and we just pulled together with our ’ohana and Waiola Church. And now it is in its third year, and we love to bring families together to experience true aloha.”

The entertainment lineup includes Multi Na Hoku Hanohano Award winner Brother Noland, Hawaii Music Award winner Bradda Francis, guitar/ukulele master Uncle Benny Uyetake, Ryukyukoku Matsuri Taiko Drummers, Polynesian song and dance by Na Kamali’i O Ke Akua (Children of God), hula with special guests from ’Ulalena, “Maui Superman” Uncle Boy Kana’e and Hawaiian chant by Kaliko Beamer Trapp, and a tribute to a true treasure of Hawaii, Aunty Nona Beamer, presented by Keola and Moanalani Beamer.

Films include Maui and world premieres. Watch “The Turtle and the Shark,” an animated short film; “Requiem,” a shark documentary; “Palm Trees & Proteges” (Hana surfers explode!); “Halau Nalu,” a look at native surfing in a Hawaiian language film; “Ma ka Hana ka ike” (In doing, one learns), exploring life changes for Hana students; “Mai Tai” (two guys looking for paradise in all the wrong places); the animated short films “Guard Dog” and “Hot Dog & Guide Dog;” “Voyages,” a Herb Kane journey of the Hawaiians; “Kekohi,” a Maui-made adventure film set in the time of King Kamehameha; “Children of the Long Canoes,” an incredible story of the first Hawaiians; and “The Punalu’u Experience,” which explores the natural and cultural history of Punalu’u on the Big Island.

“This being our 21st century, it is wonderful that the Lahaina Film Festival gives our Hawaiian filmmakers an opportunity to use the technology of today to share our culture globally,” said Uyetake.

MauiFEST Hawai’i Executive Director and event founder Burgmaier chooses the lineup of films.

“Being a Maui filmmaker, picking the the selection of films is always a wonderful and sometimes difficult task. I try to keep track with other local filmmakers on their latest projects throughout the islands and Pacific. I want to give the filmmakers an opportunity to showcase their work to our families and visitors, and to share our Hawaiian culture through this form of storytelling.”

The festival will also feature Hawaiian cultural arts and crafts booths and food booths from Waiola Church, Cool Cat Cafe, Amigo’s Mexican Food, Jamba Juice and more. Partial proceeds will go to Maui non-profits.

VIP dining will be offered from Front Street Grill & Bar overlooking the festival. For limited seating, call 662-3003.

Burgmaier said the festival is a community effort.

“Putting on an event like this is very difficult at times; however, the aloha we receive from our sponsors and ’ohana make it worth it. It is our way of giving back with affectionate aloha,” he explained.

Volunteers are sought for the festival. Call 573-5530 for more information.

Low-back chairs are allowed at the event. Coolers are prohibited.







MauiFEST Hawaii - PO BOX 1234 - 808-573-5530

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