Four docs unspooling at the Maui Film Festival


The festival runs June 17-21.

"The Cove"
Recipient of the Sundance Film Festival Audience Award this year, Lionsgate's "The Cove" from director Louie Psihoyos follows famed dolphin trainer-turned-activist Richard O'Barry as he and his team fight to expose the clandestine exploitation and slaughter of dolphins in a small town in Japan. This riveting envirodoc is as much a thriller as it is the heartbreaking chronicle of both a public-health nightmare and a tragedy wrought by man upon one of Earth's most intelligent and sensitive creatures.

"Art Officially Favored"
For 25 years, Michael Masley has been hypnotizing crowds on the sidewalks of Berkeley, Calif., with the magical sound of his cymbalom. Masley plays his instrument with bowhammers -- metal bows attached to his fingers by rings. Featuring interviews with such rock greats as Steven Tyler and Joe Elliott, the Atorrante Films documentary from director Martin Yernazian tells the poignant tale of this struggling visionary and musical activist.

"Dirt! The Movie"
Co-directors Bill Benenson and Gene Rosow's doc tells the timely and thought-provoking tale of this much-maligned living resource and what its depletion means for civilization and the planet. Filmed all over the world and inspired by the book "Dirt: The Ecstatic Skin of the Earth" by William Bryant Logan, "Dirt! The Movie" is more than just a wake-up call about yet another planetary disaster -- it's an uplifting story about people from all walks of life who are striving to renew our relationship with the ground beneath our feet.

"Cash Crop: Going Where the Green Is"
With California and the nation considering whether marijuana legalization might provide a much-needed economic boost, Sierra Films' documentary "Cash Crop: Going Where the Green Is" is timely indeed. Filming mostly in Northern California's Emerald Triangle of Trinity, Mendocino and Humboldt counties, where many citizens regard marijuana as their communities' economic engine, filmmaker-musician Adam Ross explores ideas of sustainability, self-governance, freedom and greed as they relate to this multibillion-dollar cash crop.