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June 24, 2005 2:00 AM
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iPOP at the CineVegas Film Festival

iPOP at the CineVegas Film Festival

by Brian Brooks/indieWIRE

A healthy dose of celebs and filmmakers joined the parties and other events at the CineVegas Film Festival, which ended last week. Christopher Walken and his cadre of actor friends took part in a Q&A, held in Walken's honor, while the stars from opening night film "Hustle & Flow" (directed by Craig Brewer) walked the Red Carpet inside the Palms Casino Resort, the festival's primary venue.










The Brenden Theatres inside the Palms Casino Resort was the scene for red carpet entrances at CineVegas. The gang from the opening night film, "Hustle & Flow" gathered for a few shots prior to the screening. From left to right: actors Taryn Manning and DJ Qualls, producer Stephanie Allain, actress Taraji Henson looking cool in white, producer John Singleton (also in white) and Paula Jai Parker showing off the curves in red.


Photo by Brian Brooks/indieWIRE








Actor Christopher Walken received this year's Marquee Award during a special event during the festival. Walken's A-list friends came along to share a few laughs, including actors Joe Pesci and Dennis Hopper, who enjoyed cigars during the chat, along with actor Laurence Fishburn who remained smoke free. Former New York Times critic Elvis Mitchell lead the discussion, which included a lot of insider laughter among the foursome. Mitchell, who's hand is seen in the far right of the pic, along with Hopper serve on the CineVegas creative advisory board.


Photo by Brian Brooks/indieWIRE















"Murderball" was in the house at the opening night party, held by the pool at the Palms. Co-director Henry Alex Rubin (left) bugged out his eyes at his cocktail in the warm desert air, while MTV Films' Troy Poon (center) and "Murderball" subject Mark Zupan looked on in a more traditional pose. The hotel advertised a weekly event called "Tuesday Night Skinny Dip" by the pool, and was to host one with the stars from HBO's "Entourage" on the Tuesday of the festival. Naturally, we showed up, but there was a sign in front saying that women "wearing bikini tops get in free," thus dashing our hopes for a "real" skinny dip.


Photo by Brian Brooks/indieWIRE








Also hanging out at the opening night party were the crew from "In Memory of My Father," which went on to take the festival's Grand Jury Prize. From left to right are: Charles McCullough, Christine Lakin, director Christopher Jaymes, and Devin Giannoni.


Photo by Brian Brooks/indieWIRE















Vegas Magazine hosted a swank party at the Green Valley Ranch (which some jokingly called Hidden Valley Ranch) resort about 10 miles from the Strip, complete with endless food, booze, and scantily clad dancers for hundreds of lucky guests. Among the attendees enjoying the good life were the crew from "Little Athens," including actress Erica Leerhsen ("The Texas Chain Saw Massacre") actor John Patrick Amedori ("The Butterfly Effect"), and writer/director Tom Zuber. The film had its world premiere at the festival.


Photo by Brian Brooks/indieWIRE








Hanging at Green Valley Ranch enjoying the view of the Strip and some cocktails were (right to left) indieWIRE pal Darren Spurr, Sundance Film Festival's John Cooper publicist/actor Mickey Cotrell, film rep Stephen Raphael, Hamptons International Film Festival programmer Rajendra Roy, and our new friend Michael. Spurr and I have a plan to open our own gambling empire dubbed the Vatican Hotel and Casino, certainly a theme worth cashing in on.


Photo by Brian Brooks/indieWIRE















The Treasure Island Hotel Casino (now re-branded as "TI") hosted a party at its Tangerine nightclub on Tuesday night of the festival. Basically, there was at least one party to go to every night... Enjoying the festivities were CineVegas' director of programming, Trevor Groth (right), Jimmy Bolton (middle), director of "The Graffiti Artist," which screened last year at the festival, and Jarom Rowland, the fest's associate director.


Photo by Brian Brooks/indieWIRE








Writer/director Bryan Wiszemann's "Losing Ground" (right) screened in the festival's "Diamond Discoveries" section. He hung out at the festival party at the Rio Hotel (with its spectacular view) along with John Good, who stars in the film. Wizemann's feature takes course over one night in a Vegas poker room focusing on seven people who interact, win and/or lose, making for a "sublime" (as the festival describes it) viewing experience.


Photo by Brian Brooks/indieWIRE















It's fairly rare that indieWIRE associate director Brian Brooks (right) includes a picture of himself in iPOP, but after meeting "Bliss" director Jaffe Zinn, it made sense. Brooks was shocked to find out that Zinn had worked at the same small English school in Japan as he did, although about six years later, only to randomly meet at this party atop the Rio Hotel (with a little help from publicist Jeff Lovari). What a small world!


Photo by Jeff Lovari/indieWIRE








The Ghost Bar atop the Palms Casino Resort was a great place to hang out after the official parties. The view was amazing, and as one of Vegas' hip places to be seen, it attracted a crowd wasn't hard on the eyes (not that cool always = hot). Behind the silhouettes of the people at the Ghost Bar was the amazing Las Vegas Strip skyline, truly a marvel of human engineering in such a naturally barren area. Vegas is celebrating its Centennial this year.


Photo by Brian Brooks/indieWIRE





If you would like to suggest iPOP: ON THE SCENE coverage please contact us at office@indiewire.com or at the indieWIRE office:


indieWIRE

304 Hudson Street, 6th Floor

New York, NY 10013

Phone 212/675-3908

Fax 212/504-8263

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