comscore Feast of films | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
TGIF

Feast of films

  • COURTESY PHOTO
    The audience is always casual at the Molokai Film Festival, shown here at the Hotel Molokai in 2009.
  • COURTESY PHOTO
    Ken Martinez Burgmaier, left, and Brother Noland at the Keawanui Fish Pond on Molokai earlier this year while filming “Massacre of Kaupoa Beach,” which will have its world premiere tonight on Molokai.
  • COURTESY PHOTO
    The audience is always casual at the Molokai Film Festival, shown here at the Hotel Molokai in 2009.
  • COURTESY PHOTO
    Calvin Hoe, left, shows Big Island resident Hope Keawe how to play a Hawaiian nose flute.
  • COURTESY PHOTO
    Bradda Francis Koahou performs at last year’s inaugural Lanai Film Festival at the Hotel Lanai.
  • COURTESY PHOTO
    Ken Martinez Burgmaier on Molokai in October 2009 while filming “Journey to Kalaupapa,” which will have its world premiere tonight on Molokai.
[ AD HAS BEEN REMOVED FROM THIS STORY ]

Whenever Ken Martinez Burgmaier visits Molokai and Lanai, strangers stop him on the street. On islands without movie theaters, the guy in charge of the annual free film festival is pretty popular.

"People ask when is the next film festival, what are the films," he says. "Everywhere I go, that vibe is there. It gives me chicken skin that our festivals are that loved."

Burgmaier has organized film and music festivals throughout Maui County for seven years, becoming a sort of Pied Piper for film, culture and music in communities off the beaten path.

SEVENTH ANNUAL MOLOKAI FILM FESTIVAL

Where: Hotel Molokai

When: 4 -11 p.m. today and tomorrow

Cost: Free

Info: Mauifest.net/events.html, 808-573-5530

Note: The event features music by Brother Noland, Bradda Francis Koahou, Lono and the Hula Halau Ka Malo O Kalani, and Hawaii instrument demonstrations by Calvin Hoe

 

SECOND ANNUAL LANAI FILM FESTIVAL

Where: Hotel Lanai

When: 4 -11 p.m. Aug. 20-21

Cost: Free

Info: Mauifest.net/events.html, 808-573-5530

Note: The event will feature music by Brother Noland, Bradda Francis Koahou and Lono and Polihua Band and Hula, and demonstrations by Hoe

FILM LINE UP FOR BOTH FESTIVALS:
"Journey to Kalaupapa"
"Massacre at Kaupoa Beach"
"Holomua"
"Hana Surf Girls"
"Stones"
"I Scream, Floats & Sundays"
"Kava Kultcha"
"A Legacy"
"Heart Strings: The Story of the Kamaka Ukulele"
"Red Hibiscus"
"Pidgin: The Voice of Hawaii"
"He Hawaii Mau"
"Malama Haloa-Protecting the Taro"
"Kahoolawe: An Island Healing"

 

He’s expecting a crowd of 2,000 tonight and tomorrow at the Hotel Molokai in Kaunakakai, where he will screen 14 short indie films, including the world premiere of his "Journey to Kalaupapa" and "Massacre of Kaupoa Beach."

Next weekend, he’ll bring the same line up to the Hotel Lanai. Last year, the first time he held a festival on Lanai, 400 people showed up.

"They are all embraced by the community with overwhelming aloha," he says. "They are starving for quality entertainment."

Burgmaier has a Maui-based film and TV production company and an internationally broadcast TV show, "Jazz Alley TV." He also recently started HawaiiONTV.com, an online TV Internet network.

Burgmaier started his free film festival circuit, which includes Lahaina and Hana on Maui, under an umbrella organization called MauiFEST Hawaii. One of his main goals has always been to showcase Hawaiian music and culture while giving local audiences something they wouldn’t normally be able to see — or afford.

"It is our way of giving back to the communities and share some true aloha," he says. "When we bring them something like this, it brings the families together, and friends."

The Molokai event is in its seventh year and is anything but formal, he says. People are encouraged to bring lawn chairs to the outdoor venue at the edge of the beach. In years past, some have watched from the hotel pool.

The older festivals have regularly attracted audiences from other islands, Burgmaier says.

"They say it is a true grassroots aloha festival," he says. "They don’t have all that Hollywood vibe that other festivals have. We keep it, ‘less is more,’ and try and deliver the highest quality Hawaiian experience that a person can feel."

 

Comments have been disabled for this story...

Click here to see our full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak. Submit your coronavirus news tip.

Be the first to know
Get web push notifications from Star-Advertiser when the next breaking story happens — it's FREE! You just need a supported web browser.
Subscribe for this feature

Scroll Up