HERE! @ SUNDANCE

MONDAY JANUARY 24, 2005
Report 5:  Films and Flirting

Folks with hangovers and bed-head combed the town Monday morning, eager for their caffeinated beverage of choice and a nice warm seat in a cinema. Our day began with a 9:30am screening of Craig Lucas’ highly anticipated first feature THE DYING GAUL, starring independent film luminaries Patricia Clarkson, Campbell Scott, and Peter Sarsgaard. Lucas, of course, is the writer of gay cinema classic LONGTIME COMPANION. The new film, his directorial debut, is a dark and compelling look at the entertainment industry, set inside the rarefied world of the Hollywood elite.

Leaving the screening to return back to the here! house in Park City, we were reminded of the unique experience that riding the festival shuttles can be. Traffic has been like rush hour on the Hollywood Freeway, jam-packed this year, which means extended time to chat with your fellow riders. We spoke with locals enjoying the film festival, journalists hoping to make their deadlines, and fest attendees griping about the long lines to get into evening events around town.

Later that afternoon, we attended a party for the American Film Institute in a house recognized by the Park City Historic Preservation Society. We gazed down at Main Street, aglow with buzz and activity, and the growing moon gave the snow packed mountains below an ethereal glow.


Sundance Programmer Shari Frilot (R) & guest.

PlanetOut's Jenny Stewart (L) and guest.

At the bottom of Main Street, we visited the POWER UP dinner hosted by founder Stacy Codikow. Some of the folks in attendance were queer film historian Jenni Olson (THE JOY OF LIFE), filmmakers Chris Russo and Jamie Donahue (BILLY’S DAD IS A FUDGE-PACKER), Honey Labrador (QUEER EYE FOR THE STRAIGHT GIRL), Alex Bornstein (Mad TV), PlanetOut’s Jenny Stewart, and Sarah Warn, founder of Afterellen.com.

We capped the evening with a wonderful performance by the band Cake at local institution Club Suede. The house was packed to capacity with sweaty rock fans eager to see one of the most established queer bands in existence today. The event served to build the buzz for Tuesday’s show with the Scissor Sisters. A Queer Lounge-sponsored show and party, it is without a doubt one of the hottest tickets in town. Stay tuned for the scoop in tomorrow’s column.


Howard (BY HOOK OR BY CROOK) and LA Outfest's Kirsten Schaffer.

Sundance Programmer Roberta Marie Munroe, QUEER EYE FOR THE STRAIGHT GIRL'S Honey Labrador, and here! VP of Development Meredith Kadlec.

After the Cake show, we raced off to the Effie Brown (Prod., STRANGER INSIDE) party in the back room of a club. The event was held to celebrate the slate of films that Brown will be producing this year, including one with Sundance Senior programmer Shari Frilot. Dennis O’ Connor from HBO Films and Paul Federbush from Warner Independent Pictures were amongst the many Hollywood movers and shakers who filled the speakeasy, along with an eclectic mix of mainstream and indie folks. As we left the party for the evening, we walked past the crowd of people still waiting for entrance into the event. Great party, good times, and amazing talent at Sundance 2005.
. . .

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. 

here! is America’s first gay and lesbian premium television network, available nationwide on DIRECTV channel 190 and DISH Network channel 537, as well as cable systems across the country.   Call your cable or satellite provider and ask for here!.  Sign up to receive regular here! updates at heretv.com.

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