BUZZ for February 21, 2003: Tribeca Fest Plans, “Laurel Canyon” Stars and More
by Wendy Mitchell with Brian Brooks and Eugene Hernandez
TRIBECA’S 2003 IN SIGHT: With a new executive director at the helm, organizers of the Tribeca Film Festival announced plans for the second-annual event during a City Hall press conference on Thursday. While the toughest questions for the Mayor surrounded the city’s budget crisis, Bloomberg welcomed fest co-founders Robert DeNiro and Jane Rosenthal, actor/producer Kevin Spacey, and new fest chief Peter Scarlet to the Blue Room for the photo op and brief Q&A session. The fest will run May 3-11, with primary screenings held from May 6-11 at various TriBeCa locations. Spacey announced that his Trigger Street Productions will partner with Budweiser to create a New Filmmaker Award that will include a yet-to-be-announced cash prize. While he was unwilling to disclose some of the titles that are confirmed for the festival, Scarlet did indicate that he is planning a music series as well as a tribute to the Black Filmmakers Foundation, with a showcase of seminal African American cinema.
NOT RESTING FOR ‘LAUREL’: The piles of snow didn’t keep the crowds away from Lot 61 for the “Laurel Canyon” premiere party on Tuesday night. As usual, Nerve threw a winning party: the open bar stayed open forever, there was world-class chicken on a stick and great old rock tunes like the Doobie Brothers’ “What a Fool Believes” and some guilty pleasures from Wham. Spotted in the crowd: the film’s director Lisa Cholodenko and stars Allesandro Nivola and camera-shy Frances McDormand and her hubby, Joel Coen, along with actress Emily Mortimer (who we can’t help picturing naked from her turn in “Lovely and Amazing”), director Stephen Daldry, and actor Tim Blake Nelson (another one, sadly, whose naked body is burned into our retinas after “The Good Girl”). Industry folks in attendance included Sony Classics’ Carmelo Pirrone and Michael Barker, “Devil’s Playground” director and our favorite party fixture Lucy Walker, producers’ rep extraordinaire Jeff “the Dude” Dowd, Jared Abbott and Greg Williams of Lot 47, Palm Pictures’ Ryan Werner and Nicolette Aizenberg, screenwriter Mike Jones, producer Diana Williams, Process Media’s Howard Gertler, London-based bon vivant Steve Jelbert, and Nerve’s Rufus Griscom.
UNIFRANCE GOES ON: Unifrance held a special meeting on Monday to determine its direction following the recent death of the organization’s chief, Daniel Toscan du Plantier, during the Berlin Film Festival. The Board of Directors paid tribute to him for his “drive, energy and insight.” Board members also announced for the interim, Unifrance’s presidency will be entrusted to the management committee including Romain Goupil and Jacques Le Glou who are the current vice presidents as well as Marie Masmonteil (treasurer) and Pierre-Marie Jouany (secretary) in addition to other members. Veronique Bouffard, the association’s general manager, will continue under the management committee, to function in daily decisions on behalf of the organization. Unifrance serves to promote French cinema around the world.
SKYY STARS: SKYY Vodka has enlisted Taye Diggs, Gretchen Mol, Kyle MacLachlan, and John Leguizamo to appear in national ad campaigns. The new SKYY Cinema campaign, shot by celeb photog Matthew Rolston, marks the fifth year of SKYY’s attention on indie film. SKYY is also sponsoring a short film project.
TRAILER PARK: The Golden Trailer Awards have announced nominees for its fourth-annual prizes. The awards will be presented on March 13 in Los Angeles, at a ceremony hosted by Dennis Miller. There are five nominees in each of 16 categories; in the “best independent” category, nominees are “24 Hour Party People,” “The Fast Runner,” “Read My Lips,” “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” and “Love Liza.” In another favorite category, “trashiest trailer,” the nominated films are “The Rules of Attraction,” “Secretary,” “Mailbooty,” “Horror in the Attic,” and “Auto Focus.” Judges who selected the nominated previews are directors Miguel Arteta and Paul Verhoeven, critic Leonard Maltin, editor Jess Cagle, studio execs Mary Donovan, Josh Goldstine, and Peter Belsito, and UCLA film school dean Bob Rosen. For a full list of nominees, visit www.goldentrailer.com.
ROCKET LAUNCH: Following a sold-out showing at Sundance, Luis Fernandez de la Reguera will present his documentary “Rockets Redglare” at a series of free screenings at New York’s Beauty Bar. The film, featuring interviews with Redglare’s pals and collaborators Steve Buscemi, Willem Dafoe, Matt Dillon, Jim Jarmusch, Alex Rockwell, and Julian Schnabel, will be shown February 24-28 at 6:30 p.m. It will also screen at Toronto’s HotDocs festival. For details, visit www.rocketsredglare.tv.
BLIZZARD OF SIGHTINGS: The blizzard of ’03 didn’t keep the stars inside. Buzz got a little stir crazy and went — surprise! — to the movies (“25th Hour,” where is Ed Norton’s Oscar nod!?!) and then set out for a few snowy cocktails with friends. First stop: the Gramercy Park Hotel bar (thankfully reopened), where we spotted Jack and Meg of the White Stripes (yes, they were wearing red) hanging out with film it girls Chloe Sevigny and Natasha Lyonne. Then we trekked to Siberia in midtown to find Jimmy Fallon dancing up a storm and falling into a pile of beer bottles.
BABY ON BOARD: A huge congratulations to Taylor Deupree, who works with indieWIRE as the design director of IFCRant magazine, and his wife Tina as they celebrate the birth of baby Nicholas (7 lbs. 1 oz.).
QUOTABLE: “After my first 10 films, I had become almost like a trademark… I became very tired of being ‘Almodovar.”‘ — Famed Spanish director Pedro Almodovar talks to Reuters.