Molokai Film Festival

Fun for the whole family in Kaunakakai Park

By Léo Azambuja

Residents and visitors who came to Kaunakakai Park this past weekend enjoyed the music and movies at the Molokai Film Festival.

One of the most inspirational movies shown was “The Heart of a Soul Surfer.” The film was about Bethany Hamilton, who lost an arm in a shark attack on Kauai a couple years ago. The resilient teenager, who was one of the most promising surfing talents in the United States, never lost hope. She continues to surf competitively, and winning contests too.

Perhaps the best movie shown was New Zealand’s “Two Cars, One Night.” The movie received an Oscar nomination for short film in 2003. It tells the story of how two boys and a girl meet in a car park in rural New Zealand, and from an adversity based on rivalry they develop a close friendship.

Before the movies were shown, musicians rocked the park, as people slowly took over the lawn. All artists gave outstanding performances.

Molokai’s own, Lono, opened up the festival, playing at his best. It is the third year Lono plays for the film festival. Crowd entertaining is one of the best virtues of the local musician who composes songs with a history background.

Slack-key guitar master Cindy Combs praised Molokai for fighting against La`au Point development. She comes from Kauai, and said the population there is still fighting against the Superferry.

Other performers included Uncle Boy Kanae and Grammy winners Keoki Kahumoku and John Keawe. Ulalena performed hula for the crowd, which was a mix of locals and a few tourists.

The evening turned out to be a perfect family outing. Even the usually hot Kaunakakai weather gave the crowd a break, cooling off a bit.

Children were savoring colorful shave-ice cones, which could be purchased at the Molokai Middle School food booth. Puppies were running around, begging for hot-dog leftovers.

Chris and Patricia brought their food stand, the Little Grass Shack, and were selling their incredible fish tacos and fried ice cream. Next door to them, pretzels were offered at a fair price to die-hard festival fans.

A booth sold festival T-shirts, among with other specially made shirts. Another booth was selling hand-crafted shell jewelry.

The film festival also promoted cancer awareness.

Festival organizer Ken K. Martinez Burgmaier said food booth fees and partial proceeds from the T-shirt sales will go to Molokai Cancer Association (MCA). If anyone wishes to donate to MCA, please contact MauiFest at (808) 573-5530. Burgmaier said he opted to donate to MCA instead of the American Cancer Society because the donations will stay on the island of Molokai.

Burgmaier was stoked about the outcome of the festival. “Everyone was happy, the parking lot was full,” he said. This is the festival’s fourth year, and Burgmaier said he’ll definitely come back next year to Molokai.

The festival’s main sponsors were Maui FestHawai`I, Maui Land and Pineapple, and KITV 4. Those who were able to come, for sure enjoyed a great evening with their families and friends.


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