The Maui Film Festival's FirstLight: Academy Screening series will return for its 14th annual holiday season celebration of cinema starting Sunday. It will then continue for four days during Thanksgiving week, and will add nine more days of movies from Dec. 14 intermittently to Dec. 30. Setting the stage as usual will be the Maui Arts & Cultural Center in Kahului.
"Our 2012 hand-picked schedule will feature 40 films, 20 of which are special encores and more than 20 that are Maui and/or Hawaii premieres presented in advance of, or in coincidence with theatrical premieres in New York or Los Angeles," says Barry Rivers, founder and director of Maui Film Festival and FirstLight.
On Sunday, FirstLight will kick off at 3 p.m. with "The House I Live In." Danny Glover, John Legend and Russell Simmons are the executive producers of this revelatory documentary.
Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood and Charlie Watts (from left) will be seen in rare interviews along with former Stones members Bill Wyman, Mick Taylor and Brian Jones in the electrifying “Crossfire Hurricane,” screening at 7:30 pm. Sunday at The MACC.
photo courtesy FIRSTLIGHT
"Director Eugene Jarecki makes clear that 'The war on drugs has never really been about drugs,' " says Rivers. "What it has really been about will be an eye opener that had Jon Stewart of The Daily Show calling it 'one of the most important documentaries ever produced.' "
Sunday at 5 p.m., "Love, Marilyn" will offer a rare, never-before-seen look at the life of Marilyn Monroe.
"Elizabeth Banks, Zoe Saldana, Uma Thurman, Evan Rachel Wood, Glenn Close, Hope Davis and Viola Davis among many others breathe life into this amazing documentary by Director Liz Garbus that reveals the reality behind the myth of an American icon using recently discovered personal letters sent to her acting coach."
As icing on the cake, Rolling Stones' fans will want to stay for "Crossfire Hurricane" at 7:30 p.m. Sunday.
"The Rolling Stones have authorized this electrifying documentary celebrating their 50th anniversary as a band.
"Stones fans will be enthralled with rare and never-before-seen period interviews and extensive live performance material and news archive footage, which complete this kaleidoscopic documentary from director Brett Morgen."
The movie series continues on Tuesday, when November's centerpiece screenings include "Silver Linings Playbook."
"This People's Choice Award winner at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival stars Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence and Robert DeNiro and is written and directed by David O. Russell," says Rivers.
"Previous TIFF People's Choice Award winners include Academy Award-winning Best Pictures 'Slumdog Millionaire' and 'The King's Speech.' "
Spread out over the Thanksgiving and holiday season breaks, all FirstLight films will offer the bonus of live music, flirting, dinner, dessert, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, coffee and tea for purchase at the CandleLight Cafe between all 5 and 7:30 p.m.," says Rivers.
Next month's screenings will run starting Dec. 14 and continue Dec. 20 to 23. After Christmas, it will resume Dec. 26 and offer more options Dec. 28 to 30.
For complete festival information, visit www.mauifilmfestival.com. Single tickets are $12, with a FirstPass of four admissions priced at $40. Call the MACC Box Office at 242-SHOW (7469) or see MauiArts.org for more details.