MAKENA, Maui (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Maui Film Festival founded by Barry Rivers continues to draw crowds. The Wailea Golf Course's Celestial Cinema is the festival's signature venue. The endless grass plain allows for nearly unlimited seating, which is great, because 20,000 people come every year. 2010 is no exception, in its 11th annual year ticket sales are up 20%.
"I don't think there's any other place in the world where you can go and enjoy a movie the way you can there." Said Thomas.
"It brings you back to the good old days when you had a drive in theater but you don't need a car, it's all open air." Said Terry Huculak.
It takes an army of 300 volunteers to keep this event afloat, all to bring the community compassionate, visionary and life-affirming stories through film. The festival supports the community in other ways like boosting the economy. The Four Seasons usually sells out for this weekend and reservations are made months in advance.
The biggest draw this year was actor Zac Efron, who won the Shining Star Award Thursday night.
"Zac Efron lit this thing up, we made 200 million impressions on the web, Wailea Hawaii within 48 hours after announcing he was going to be here this year and it's only continued."
"It means a lot I gotta be honest my first reaction was it's a big honor am I really undeserving. But the Maui Film Festival is all about trust the future." Said Zac Efron.
The festival's theme this year is "Trust the Future" and humble actors like Zac are leading the way on and off the screen.