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Sundance: Inside Friday Night's Parties With Elizabeth Banks, Kristen Stewart, Harvey Weinstein

Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Aaron Paul, Keira Knightley, Philip Seymour Hoffman and more stars and execs celebrated the film fest's first day at Park City's premiere bashes and dinners.
John Slattery, Christina Hendricks and Philip Seymour Hoffman
Danny Moloshok/Invision

PARK CITY -- Weekend one of Sundance kicked into full gear on Friday night as dozens of receptions, film premiere parties and dinners brought the fest crowds to downtown Park City.

Industry execs and talent scurried from event to event, bumping into old pals and colleagues in the streets and at multiple venues.

"It's an amazing vibe to be in this place," said Elizabeth Banks at Stella Artois' Cidre launch party. "We are all part of this film community and it's actually quite small. Everyone is here with a movie because they loved the script or the director and were really passionate about the project."

Banks later showed up at a dinner party for Lynn Shelton's Laggies (Shelton said she was "exhilarated" by her film's premiere), where fellow thesps in attendance included Keira Knightley, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Sam Rockwell. Also among the guests were agents Rich Klubeck and David Flynn, director David Wain, and producers Steve Golin, Alix Madigan, Andrea Sperling and Garrett Basch.

Hoffman also attended the God's Pocket premiere and mingled with director John Slattery and Christina Hendricks.

Richard Kind, who is up here with two film projects (Obvious Child and a Neil LaBute short), popped into a party for Kristen Stewart-starrer Camp X-Ray and ran into his old friend (and fellow actor) John Carroll Lynch, who stars in the Gitmo drama alongside Stewart. Emile Hirsch also showed to hang with Stewart, his Into the Wild co-star.

At RADiUS-TWC's Blue Ruin party at Silver on Main Street, The Brady Bunch's Eve Plumb (aka Jan Brady) was chatting up guests including RADiUS heads Tom Quinn and Jason Janego and Blue Ruin producer Anish Savjani. Said the film's director Jeremy Saulnier, "Eve is playing way against type."

At the Hellion dinner, stars Aaron Paul and Josh Wiggins were joined by Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich, who helped the film's director Kat Candler access some of his heavy-metal tunes. Kellan Lutz also showed to catch up with friend (and the film's exec producer/actor) Tanner Beard.

VIDEO: 5 Breakout Stars at this Year's Sundance Film Festival

Participant Media, meanwhile, held its 10th anniversary party and celebrated Joseph Gordon-Levitt's show HitRECord on TV at The Shop. Gordon-Levitt played a music set (with 18-year-old singer Pepina), with John Lithgow, Morgan Spurlock, producers Lawrence Bender and Jonathan Schwartz, WME's Dan Aloni, Lionsgate's Rob Friedman and Patrick Wachsberger, and attorney Michael Donaldson in attendance.

Bender later slipped in through the exit at nightclub pop-up TAO in the converted garage space below the Village at the Lift compound. Inside, he was reunited with Harvey Weinstein, who was holding court at one of the private tables behind a red velvet rope.

Matthew Belloni, Tatiana Siegel and Stacey Wilson contributed to this report.

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