After a busy weekend at Sundance, Monday brought still more premiere parties, receptions and dinners.
Longtime Sundance dealmaker Cinetic Media staked out its traditional Monday night spot at Zoom for an all-night bash. Host John Sloss chatted to clients and guests from the venue’s top floor. He gave documentary director Ondi Timoner a hug and joked about how she’s the only client to have won Sundance twice and fired him twice. “Well, you and Errol Morris fired me twice, so you’re in good company!” Among the indie execs and talent cruising around the party were Ethan Hawke, director Barbara Kopple, Exclusive Media’s Matt Brodlie, IFC Films’ Arianna Bocco, Cinetic’s Ryan Werner, and producer Michael Sackler.
Black Label Media’s Molly Smith hosted an intimate dinner at her family’s Deer Crest estate for the Telluride Film Festival’s executive director Julie Huntsinger. Soiree guests included Lionsgate’s Patrick Wachsberger, Rob Friedman and Erik Feig, Bold Films’ David Lancaster and Focus Features’ Jeb Brody. Huntsinger chatted with friends including director and Sundance juror Sebastian Lelio (Gloria) about the delicate art of judging films. Lancaster received congrats from many in the room on Sundance darling Whiplash, which Bold financed and produced.
At a small reception on Main Street, Japanese actress Rinko Kikuchi (Oscar nominee for Babel) received love for her role in Sundance film Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter, about a lonely Japanese girl obsessed with the film Fargo. She said she was excited to take on different roles after being inundated with dark, dramatic projects after Babel. Her next job is shooting Isabel Coixet’s Nobody Wants the Night with Juliette Binoche and Willem Dafoe.
Nordic filmmakers were celebrating at Purple Sage on Main for their collective films at Sundance. Eskil Vogt, who co-wrote 2006 Sundance pic Reprise, is back at the festival with Blind, in World Competition. He said the festival accepted the film back in July. That early enthusiasm, said Vogt, prompted him to hold the film’s Scandinavian release until 2014. Blind will also travel to Berlin’s festival next month.
The party for William H. Macy's directorial debut Rudderless, about a father who forms a band after finding his deceased son’s inspiring demo tapes, was a fittingly musical affair. The Grey Goose Lounge bash included a half-hour concert featuring Simon Steadman and Ben Kweller in an energetic performance. The film’s Billy Crudup joined the musicians onstage for a song and spent the rest of the set singing along from beside the stage. After an introduction from Macy, the duo played several songs from the film's soundtrack. The final song of the night was performed by another of the film's stars, Selena Gomez, who spent the rest of the evening hanging out on white couches beside the stage. Apparently, she wasn’t drinking the lounge’s hosted vodka -- a secret bottle of whiskey had been stashed behind the bar for her whiskey-and-cokes.
Rebecca Ford contributed to this report.