Sunday’s Sundance revelry started with football. TWC chief Harvey Weinstein held his annual football viewing party at the fest, this time at the Waldorf Astoria in Park City. The hotel’s long bar area was set up with multiple TVs to accommodate a mix of agents (CAA’s Roeg Sutherland and Maha Dakhil, and WME’s Graham Taylor), other biz folk and a smattering of talent (Don Johnson, Zach Braff, Anne Hathaway). The afternoon’s host held court in a back room in front of the largest screen TV. At one point, Weinstein was asked if he’d had fun at the SAG Awards the night before. He answered, “Yeah, I had a great time losing 12 awards in a row.”
At Sundance Channel's late-afternoon party at its headquarters at the top of Main Street, Jason Mamoa said he was drinking in the high-altitude fun. “This is my first Sundance, and I'm having a blast,” said the Game of Thrones alum. “I’ve been snowboarding all morning with my friends.” Blur’s Damon Albarn had the crowd rocking for the first of two Park City performances. Also on hand were Maggie Gyllenhaal, Tom Sizemore, Elisabeth Moss, Strand’s Marcus Hu, Sundance Channel’s Christian Vesper, and Laura Michalchyshyn of Sundance Productions.
HBO Documentary Films celebrated their five docs at Sundance this year at Ruth’s Chris Steak House at Hotel Park City. HBO Docs’ Sheila Nevins hosted a lavish spread, including a seafood bar, roast-beef table, sliders and "loaded" mac-and-cheese. Many party-goers watched the 49ers-Seahawks game at the bar, as some of the world’s leading doc filmmakers (including Alex Gibney, Lucy Walker, Marina Zenovich, Ondi Timoner and John Battsek) mixed and mingled. The Case Against 8 documentary brought its Prop 8 legal contingent, including Ted Olson and partners from his Gibson Dunn law firm (who later that night joined Human Rights Campaign’s Equality Unscripted party at Silver). The film’s co-director, Ben Cotner, was all smiles, as he discussed his transition from being a film buyer to director. “It’s great to be up at Sundance with a movie,” he said, “As a buyer, you’re always the bad guy, because you have to say, ‘No.’”
Back on Main Street, CNN Film’s reception drew Jeff Zucker, Chaz Ebert, Ira Deutchman, IFC’s John Vanco, and filmmakers Steve James, Joe Berlinger and Morgan Spurlock.
STK’s Supper Club hosted a joint dinner for Sundance films The One I Love and Listen Up Philip. Among the guests at the lively, talent-heavy sit-down affair were Jason Schwartzman, Jonathan Pryce, Josh Leonard, Rooney Mara, Jason Ritter, Mary Steenburgen, Mark Duplass and director Lynn Shelton.
Distributor A24 threw a party at Cafe Terigo for Steven Knight-directed thriller Locke. Knight talked about his near brush with Fifty Shades of Grey. “I was offered the chance to write it,” Knight said. “I thought it could have been interesting but ultimately decided against it."
UTA held its traditional annual blow-out at The Riverhorse, where the crowd included John Lithgow, Elizabeth Banks, Aaron Paul, Three Arts’ David Becky, Elevation Pictures’ Laurie May, Fox Searchlight’s David Greenbaum, producers Cassian Elwes, Heidi Jo Markel and Daniela Taplin Lundberg, and UTA’s Jeremy Barber, Richard Klubeck and Rena Ronson.
And going late into the night, the Annual MPIC Sundance Celebrity Charity Poker Tournament (benefitting domestic violence non-profit Jaden’s Ladder), brought together hosts Mekhi Phifer, Inny Clemons and Randall Emmett, and guests including John C. Reilly, Molly Shannon, Jeremy Sisto, Darius Rucker and photographer-director Michel Comte.
Matthew Belloni and Tatiana Siegel contributed to this report.