HERE! @ SUNDANCE

SUNDAY JANUARY 23, 2005
Report 4:  Queer Brunch Extravaganza

Once again, this year's Queer Brunch proved to be the Queer film community's hottest party. The event, hosted by PlanetOut, Outfest, and here! drew eight hundred people to the Grub Steak restaurant to schmooze, mingle, drink bloody marys and exchange cards. here! Networks was on hand to do the brunch's first-ever extended media coverage. Kind enough to spend some one on one time with our host Michelle Wolff were Sundance Programming Director John Cooper, director Alice Wu (SAVING FACE), director Don Roos (HAPPY ENDINGS), Paul Colichman (CEO, here! Networks) and his partner, actor David Millbern, Also on hand were Lewis Tice from TLA, David Kwok from the Tribecca Film Fest, Marcus Hu from Strand Releasing, acclaimed Queer Theorist B. Ruby Rich, L.A. restaurateur Susan Fenniger (Border Grill) and her partner, filmmaker Liz Lachman, as well as fabulous queer cheerleaders the Lickety Splits, Stacy Codikow from Power Up, and award winning filmmaker Jenni Olson (THE JOY OF LIFE).


Stephen Gutwillig
and Kirsten Schaffer
from Outfest Los Angeles.

Roberta Marie Munroe,
Sundance Programmer.

Susan Feniger and
partner Liz Lachman.

Also in attendance were award-winning producer Christine Vachon (BOYS DON'T CRY, FAR FROM HEAVEN), Michael Lumpkin from San Francisco's Frameline Film Fest, Stephen Gutwillig and Kirsten Schaffer from Outfest Los Angeles, HBO Films' Dennis O'Connor, Screen International's Michael Goodridge, Paramount Studios' Monica Chuo, Sundance programmers including Shari Frilot and Roberta Munroe, John Scheer (URBANIA), Wolfe Video's Maria Lynn, and the Advocate's Anne Stockwell.


Crispin Glover at the press reception at the Sundance House.

Outfest board member Brian Alexander and Producer Ross Grayson Bell (FIGHT CLUB).

After a brief power nap, we attended the first reception for Sundance accredited press, both domestic and international. The shindig was a chance for global press to gather and meet the directors of the Sundance 2005 line-up. Certain celebs also made an appearance, including Jamie Bell (BILLY ELLIOT) who has two films in the fest this year, Crispin Glover (WHAT IS IT?), and Penn Jillette (THE ARISTOCRATS) of Penn and Teller.

Later that day, the here! team gathered for a dinner with Joaquin Oristrell, the brilliant director of UNCONSCIOUS, a romantic, adventure drama filled with sparkling intelligence and infused with a lush golden light. here! films has acquired the North American distribution rights to UNCONSCIOUS, a Spanish language film from Latido International.

That night, the Gateway Center was packed to capacity to celebrate the official kick-off of the Queer Lounge. Rising stars and Warner Bros. recording artists The Ditty Bops performed live. The crowd loved their innovative mix of pop, folk and an early 20 th century sound driven by vintage instruments including a stand-up bass and a washboard. As with all the Queer Lounge events thus far, there was a fabulous aura of community. Events at the lounge are well organized, the staff is friendly and welcoming, and one feels as though it's a gay home away from home, complete with couches, cocktails, and Internet access. John Cameron Mitchell (HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH) was on hand to do a little socializing and relaxing before his famous annual Homos Away From Home later this week. The soiree was a perfect bookend to the morning's Queer Brunch, and proved that when it comes to throwing an all-out amazing event, the queer community at Sundance knows how to get a party started.
. . .

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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