HERE! @ SUNDANCE

WEDNESDAY JANUARY 26, 2005
Report 7: From the Bottom of Main Street

We started the day with a press screening of REEFER MADNESS, the campy new film that started out as a stage hit in Los Angeles. The film revolves around a small town that has been infiltrated by “reefer.” The romp stars Christian Campbell, sister Neve Campbell, Steven Weber, and the incomparable Alan Cumming. Audience members responded well to the extravaganza, and the film is sure to take on the cult-like status of its stage parent.

Later we raced off to the Frameline Film Fest party, hosted by fest directors Michael Lumpkin and Jennifer Morris, at a lovely café up the street from the Sundance House at the bottom of Main Street. All the major LGBT film fest execs were present to support this event, which is one of the most important annual queer events in town. Christine Vachon (BOYS DON’T CRY) and her adorable daughter were in attendance, as were Parker Ray from Instinct magazine, director Bob King (PSYCHO BEACH PARTY), filmmaker Jonathon Wald (WHAT GROWNUPS KNOW), Sundance’s Levi Elder and Andrew Peterson, filmmaker Chris Russo, and documentary director Taggart Siegel (THE REAL DIRT ON FARMER JOHN).


Shannon Kelley, Bob King, and Parker Ray.

The packed Frameline party.

We kicked off the evening with a visit to the ultra exclusive International Press Reception at the Riverhorse Restaurant, where we ran into the producers of LOVE, LUDLOW, the new film that stars SEX AND THE CITY”S David Eigenberg. The event was a fine example of the wonderful “Sundance Reality” that exists for filmmakers at the fest, as vodka flowed freely with delicious, first-rate hors d’oeuvres and dreamy Sundance cupcakes. Lisa Lindo, former Acme Talent and Literary principal, announced a new comedy shorts channel. The Australian Filmmakers Association was also present, extending us an invite to its Spa party. Unfortunately, we had prior commitments, as the here! team generally doesn’t pass up hot tub invites from talented Australians.

Next on the calendar was the World Cinema Party, one of the hottest tickets of the day. This soiree celebrated the international film participants in Sundance 2005. We were greeted by Sundance liaison Pablo Gadoy, and entered an event set against tribal beats provided by a gorgeous DJ. Every language in the world seemed to fill the room as Sundance Executive Director Geoff Gilmore hosted the party for an appreciative group of artists.

Bird Runningwater, Sundance Institute’s Native Initiative Programmer, chatted with here! Publicity VP Stephen Macias about this year’s film line-up. Director Tim Parsa (CHAMACO) talked about the positive reception his short has enjoyed at this year’s fest, as other directors worked the room, pitching their films and enjoying the vibe.


Jorge Gaggero (R) and friend
from LIVE-IN MAID.

Members of the
IT'S LIKE THAT team.

We capped the evening with a trek to a secret speakeasy, as the snow began to fall on the hills of Park City. The Sundance programmers use the party to provide an intimate setting for the queer filmmaking community to mingle in an environment void of the craziness that characterizes so many of the other Sundance events. The Sundance’s Channel’s Christian Vesper, Tri-Star Pictures Matt Brodlie, Sundance Director of Programming John Cooper, and Warner Independent Picture’s Paul Federbush were some of those in attendance at the private shindig. The entire here! team, including Mark Reinhart and his partner DJ Casey Alva (who flew in to attend the URB magazine party at Sundance), also stopped by, along with film producer Geoff Stier (FORTY SHADES OF BLUE) and Sundance Programmer Larin Sullivan.

As we walked back to the here! Sundance headquarters, the snow continued to fall on a quiet, glowing town. We’re beginning to feel like locals here! at the exciting Sundance Film Festival!
. . .

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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