Viola Davis to Receive Navigator Award at 2016 Maui Film Festival at Wailea

Wailea, HI ( April 21, 2016 ) -

Viola Davis will be the recipient of the female 2016 Maui Film Festival Navigator Award, it was announced today by Barry Rivers, founder and director of the festival, which will be held, and celebrate its 17th annual event from June 15-19, 2016, at the Wailea Resort in Maui.  The award will be presented at the Celestial Cinema located at the Wailea Gold & Emerald Golf Course on Friday, June 17th.  Tickets and passes are available at

“Viola Davis not only has the talent to deliver when opportunity knocks but also has the determination, drive and work ethic to steer her way through any project with empathy, compassion and grace,” said Rivers.  “Viola is a true original and we couldn’t be more pleased to honor her with the 2016 Maui Film Festival Navigator Award.”

Viola Davis is a critically revered award-winning actress of film, television and theater known for her intriguingly diverse roles.  Davis is currently starring on the ABC drama “How to Get Away with Murder.” In 2015, Davis received the Screen Actors Guild Award for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series,” in addition to the Primetime Emmy Award for “Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series.”  Earlier this year, she received her second Screen Actors Guild Award for portraying Annalise Keating.

Davis recently began production on “Fences” for Paramount Pictures. The film is starring, directed and produced by Denzel Washington and is adapted from August Wilson’s play. Davis starred in the 2010 revival of “Fences” on Broadway with Washington and her portrayal of ‘Rose Maxson’ brought her a Tony Award, as well as the Drama Critics’ Circle Award, Outer Critics Circle Award and Drama Desk Award.

In 2012, Davis received an Oscar nomination for “Best Actress” for her portrayal of ‘Aibileen Clark’ in “The Help,” directed by Tate Taylor.  Davis won the Screen Actors Guild and Critics’ Choice “Best Actress” Awards for her portrayal of ‘Aibileen,’ and was also nominated for a Golden Globe and British Academy Film Award.  In 2008, Davis starred in “Doubt” based on John Patrick Shanley’s Tony Award winning play. Davis was nominated for a Golden Globe Award, Screen Actors Guild Award and an Academy Award for her performance. Davis won the Independent Spirit Award for “Best Supporting Female” in 2003 for her performance in “Antwone Fisher.”

This summer, Davis will be seen in the highly anticipated “Suicide Squad” which also stars Will Smith, Margot Robbie and Jared Leto. The film will be released on August 5, 2016.


Barry Rivers founded the Maui Film Festival in 2000 as a festival committed to the celebration and exploration of cinema at the intersection of smart and heart. The Festival’s mission has always been to share exceptional cinematic vision in the service of compassionate and transformative storytelling with a diverse audience who call Maui both their home and their home away from home.  

Since its inception, the Maui Film Festival has screened more than 700 narrative and documentary feature length and short films from around the world to a diverse audience of industry luminaries, filmmakers, cineastes and movie lovers of all ages. Over the last 16 years the festivals has been fortunate to honor such talents as Elizabeth Banks, Jessica Chastain, Claire Danes, Laura Dern, Zooey Deschanel, Adam Driver, Clint Eastwood, Scott Eastwood, Zac Efron, Colin Farrell, Andrew Garfield, Jake Gyllenhaal, Woody Harrelson, Garrett Hedlund, Brie Larson, James Marsden, Mike Myers, Lupita Nyong’o, Emma Roberts, Owen Wilson, Olivia Wilde, Evan Rachel Wood among many others.

The 2016 Maui Film Festival Wailea is made possible by the tremendous and continued support of a number of local, national and international organizations.  As of April 14, 2016 this year’s Official Sponsors include: Signature Sponsors: Hawaiian Airlines, Hawaii Tourism Authority, Praise Genius, Sunrun; Major Sponsors: Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort, Destination Residences Hawaii, Fairmont Kea Lani, Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea, Grand Wailea, Hotel Wailea, The Shops At Wailea, Wailea Beach Marriott Resort and Spa, Wailea Gateway Center, Wailea Golf Club; Sponsorship Ohana: Mana Foods, Maui No Ka Oi Magazine, Pau Maui Vodka, Rising Sun Solar + Electric, Spago; Industry Sponsors: Getty Images, Hawaii Film Office, The Hollywood Reporter, Modern Luxury Hawaii, Picture Mill, Reel Maui / Maui Film Office, Variety, WHERE Hawaii, The Works Creative Group; Community Sponsors: Akaku: Maui Community Media, County of Maui, The Maui News;

For additional information, call the Film Festival Headquarters at 808-579-9244 or visit