It doesn’t matter how packed a celebrity’s film festival schedule is -- there’s always time for a party.
Actors including Olivia Wilde, Penn Badgley and Mira Sorvino, as well as business boldfaces like Warby Parker CEO Neil Blumenthal, gathered at Donna Karan’s Urban Zen loft in NYC’s West Village on Thursday night for the annual Tribeca Film Festival Filmmakers Dinner, hosted by IWC Schaffhausen and TFF creators Robert de Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff.
The red carpet rolled out alongside pieces from Connecting the Dots, Karan’s art exhibition that showcases sculptures from late husband Stephan Weiss. For the designer, hosting the Filmmakers Dinner at Weiss’ studio was a way of resolving unfinished business.
“My husband’s sculpture, the big film, it was one the last pieces that I have actually here,” Karan told The Hollywood Reporter of the large black sculpture that featured film strips, which greeted guests upon entry. “This was my husband’s studio, he created all his artwork here, and he never saw his larger-than-life pieces finished. I always thought that film [piece] belonged somewhere in the film industry.”
To kick off the “For the Love of Cinema” event, first-time TFF partner IWC Schaffhausen gifted celebs with watches from its Portuguese collection, and also announced that the auction of its limited-edition Tribeca-inspired timepiece raised $60,000 for the Tribeca Film Institute -- a donation the company will round up to $100,000.
THR surveyed the stars for what they watched for when picking out new timepieces, and what they love most about their favorite collectibles.
Supermodel Karolina Kurkova of Oxygen’s The Face has always loved men’s watches, so she shares a collection with her husband, Archie Drury. “It’s great because we can swap them around: ‘Okay, which one are you wearing tonight? I’m wearing this one so you wear this one!’”
While some stars’ most memorable watches brought them way back to childhood -- “I had a Mickey Mouse watch when I was a kid, and the calculator Casio watches, I loved!” said Justin Long -- others were reminded of pivotal moments in their lives.
“My first watch [was] when I started working and making a little money,” said Eric Dane of Grey’s Anatomy and the upcoming TNT pilot The Last Ship with Michael Bay. The actor purchased an IWC Flieger Chronograph Pilot watch. “And typically, I wear the watches I can bang around a little bit.”
Blythe Danner, who kept close track of her time before heading to Broadway for her role in Nice Work If You Can Get It with Matthew Broderick, said she usually wears dainty gold or silver watches on her small wrist. But she has one exception: an old gold timepiece that occasionally hangs from her neck.
“My mother-in-law gave me a beautiful watch, an antique watch, when I became engaged to her son, and I still have that,” Danner told THR. “Even though it’s broken, I wear it as a piece of jewelry. And then my grandfather had a wonderful old watch that he’d wind every night -- of course, that’s what one did back in those days!”
Boardwalk Empire’s Jack Huston, who is looking forward to Derek Anderson and Victor Kubicek’s documentary In God We Trust on the Bernie Madoff scandal, collects watches, as well as boots and art pieces. “My first watch was an original Tag Heuer, but it was a 1920s one that Steve McQueen had, and I was given it on my 18th birthday by my Uncle David. It was a gorgeous watch, and my dog ate it! I still have it, so I had to get it back in a bad way.”
Between the courses of a candlelit dinner that included seared sea scallops, wild bass with truffle butter, beef filet with red wine-glazed shallots and signature Big Apple desserts, the IWC Filmmaker’s Award was presented to Jeff Malmberg, a TFI student currently completing a film called Teatro. And somewhere between, a contraband tuna tartare was stealthily split by Huston, Badgley and Long. After wine and champagne, guests were treated to Beatles covers by R&B musician Aloe Blacc.
And then, according the group's watches, it was time for the evening to end.