Slain Shelly's 'Waitress' bows at Sundance
Adrienne Shelly's film "Waitress" opened to both cheers and weeping on Sunday, as its producers and the audience reflected on the grim circumstances surrounding the project.
"This is not in any way a screening that is meant to be a wake," said the festival's executive director, Geoffrey Gilmore as he introduced the film.
Shelly wrote, directed and starred in the movie -- and was accepted into the festival -- only a short time before she was found dead in her Manhattan apartment. A 19-year-old man was charged in the killing.
The 40-year-old filmmaker was a veteran of independent films. She found success in quirky movies, such as "The Unbelievable Truth (1989) and Trust (1990). She was also recently seen in 2005's "Factotum," with Matt Dillon.
"Waitress" tells the story of a pregnant waitress who has an affair with her doctor to escape an abusive relationship. The central role of the film is played by Keri Russell.
Shelly's husband, Andrew Ostoy, used the premiere to announce the creation of the Adrienne Shelly Foundation. The organization will offer scholarships to female independent filmmakers.
"Through the foundation, Adrienne's legacy will continue to grow," Ostoy said.