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Dentler’s Diary: Tribeca 2004.2

Dentler's Diary: Tribeca 2004.2

Film and music travels to New York City for the Tribeca Film Festival…

05/01/04
In their purest form, film festivals are about excess. They are about options, too many of them, and the ability to see and do so many things in so little time. In my case during the festival’s first day, it was more about eating and drinking far too much in a 24-hour window. Somewhere in the Film Festival Gospel, it should be written that “If you’re not doing too much, you’re not doing a film festival”…
It didn’t always have to be like this. When I’m not travelling, I maintain a pretty regular gym and exercise schedule. And I had planned to use the New York Sports Club access I have here at my hotel. I haven’t yet, but I should. The day began at Yankess Stadium. I had a couple of hours of downtime and some of the kind folks at Wenner Media (Rolling Stone, Us Weekly, etc.) had great, first-base line seats and invited me to come along for the KC Royals game. More of a football fan, I was loving the experience as much for the Yankees heritage than I was the breezy game and ultimate defeat over the visiting team. Oh, and the hot dogs and the beer. Too much. But it’s Nathan’s Hot Dogs, and there’s popcorn and peanuts. “If you’re not doing too much, you’re not doing a film festival”…
After the game, I proceeded to the Tribeca Festival’s Hospitality Tent. Okay, now, it’s already been said but let me say it again… Tribeca has one of the best “hospitality” accomodations of any film festival. In the tent off Hudson, there’s ample amounts of great food, drinks, music, and chair massage. Oh, and Bloomberg. Like just about everything at the Tribeca Festival, this tent is sponsored through and through by the corporations. Bloomberg gives us the tent, which means the flatscreen monitors hanging above the plush sofas and chatting filmmakers, are constantly broadcasting Bloomberg news and shows. Whatever. It gave me a chance to relax, catch up on Variety, and eat more than I should. “If you’re not doing too much, you’re not doing a film festival”…
Visited the booming activity of the main hub of theaters, the Battery Park UA Cinemas. Got to chat briefly with Nancy Schafer, Tribeca programmer and my former boss at SXSW. It’s always great to see Nancy, which I haven’t done since grabbing lunch at Sundance this year. She’s a blast and a real festival person. She knows her stuff. I should know, because that’s where I got any of my “stuff”…
Dinner was with Christian and Charlie from Technicolor at a nice spot in SoHo before moving on the official Opening Night Party of the Tribeca Film Festival. It was held at the Winter Garden, in the heart of downtown. The party’s theme was, quite simply, South Africa. Yes, as in, the nation. Celebrating 10 years of democracy, the South African Tourism Bureau is one of Tribeca’s sponsors. So what happened next was sort of what it was probably like seeing Paul Simon in the Graceland days. In other words, wealthy baby boomers dancing poorly to easy-listening versions of worldbeat music. I bumped into a few SXSW filmmakers who were in Tribeca with their films, and it was great to see them all again. But film folks seemed few and far between at the party. Most of us created little clusters outside the Winter Garden, enjoying the very open bar and the very beautiful night. I was hanging with the Christians… Zak (from Technicolor) and Gaines (from AFI Film Festival), that is. But soon enough, we came across old friends like Nicolette from IDP, Eugene from indieWIRE, Eamonn from Magnolia, Dana from Cinetic and more. On my way out the door, I ran into Arianna from Miramax. It’s always great to see her, she’s a sweetheart and has been a supporter of SXSW since her days at Fine Line a few years back…
The night was capped with a stop in the meat-packing district as the Technicolor guys, myself, and Wenner’s Kristy went to a few spots. We ultimately ended the night at Corner Bistro, drinking far too much beer and dining on that lovely 3 a.m. option… a cheeseburger and fries. This morning, I don’t know if I still agree, but “If you’re not doing too much, you’re not doing a film festival”…

More soon… as soon as I start recovering…

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