HERE! @ SUNDANCE

Report 2:  Sundance all day, all night
FRIDAY JANUARY 21, 2005

   
   
   
   

Welcome to the second day of here! @ Sundance. The day started out with members of the team joining a capacity crowd that filled the Egyptian Theater for the Sundance premiere of Spain’s hit comedy UNCONSCIOUS.  Already nominated for five Goya Awards (Spain’s equivalent of the Oscar), the film wowed the audience with its smart mix of mystery, sex and psychology.   Director Joaquin Oristrell received a lengthy ovation and charmed everyone during the Q&A following the screening. 

We landed at the Queer Lounge around noon to network and surf the internet. Queer Lounge director Ellen Huang gave a behind-the-scenes tour to our crew for a guided look of the amazing space. Outside, on the streets of Park City, festivalgoers roamed the town, dashing between screenings and meetings.  Later, our crew covered the reception at the Sundance Filmmaker house, where Robert Redford talked with filmmakers and discussed Sundance’s continued commitment to help fund and exhibit a diverse selection of films from around the world, including documentaries.

Tim Kirkman’s LOGGERHEADS screened to a near-capacity audience at the Racquet Club.  The film, featuring standout performances from Tess Harper, Bonnie Hunt, Kip Pardue and others, explores themes of motherhood and belonging, as a woman tries to find the son she gave up for adoption some 20 years before.  After the screening, the director, Bonnie Hunt and Kip Pardue fielded questions.  When asked how the role came to her, Bonnie Hunt received a huge audience laugh when she said she got it like she gets most of her films – because another actress had dropped out!  Thank goodness for that – this is one of the strongest performances of her career.

Friday’s long evening, jam-packed with parties and events, began with the TLA Releasing party at the Queer Lounge. The soiree was attended by The Advocate’s senior entertainment writer Anne Stockwell, gay.com’s Scott Mazer, Wolfe Video’s Maria Lynn, Stacy Codikow and Lisa Thrasher from our favorite lesbian entertainment organization POWER UP, and the entire TLA Releasing team, headed by Rich Wolf.  Filmmakers, Queer Lounge volunteers and press drank and schmoozed over fabulous appetizers, and all had a good time.

Debra Miller’s Cheap Beer Club, a monthly institution for queer filmmakers to mix and mingle in Los Angeles, held its annual Park City edition as ladies and gentlemen descended on the private club below The Claim Jumper for flirting and fun.  Sundance Associate Programmer Shari Frilot, NYC New Fest’s Basil Tsiokos, Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival programming director Carol Coombes, and filmmakers P. David Ebersole and Todd Hughes were all in attendance, along with a warm crowd of artists and film lovers.

Next, we dashed off to the party for the premiere of David LaChapelle’s new film RIZE, an insider look at a new form of artistic expression emanating from the streets of South Central Los Angeles. The Queer Lounge was the star-studded venue for this fab event.  The provocative celebrity photographer and now first-time director was in attendance along with Paris and Nicky Hilton, Pamela Anderson, Stephen Dorff, the always handsome and jovial Alan Cumming (REEFER MADNESS), Robert Gant (QUEER AS FOLK and star of festival short BILLY’S DAD IS A FUDGE PACKER), and the hilarious and lovely Jenny McCarthy (DIRTY LOVE).

After the RIZE party, we made one final stop at an exclusive party at a sprawling Deer Valley estate. Industry heavyweights mingled while wandering between the indoor basketball court, hot tub, pool room with waterfall, and rumpus room. We stayed for a bit, then made our way back down the mountain and tucked ourselves into bed for a quick respite before a very active Saturday.  Look out for new columns appearing every day of the festival, along with exclusive here! @ Sundance videos. Stay tuned right here! for all the news, gossip and queer happenings from Sundance. 

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