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PARK CITY '08 | Reflecting on Heath Ledger: 1979 - 2008
Heath Ledger arrived with sadness at the Sundance Film Festival today. Moments before a panel began at Park City's Queer Lounge with filmmakers Isaac Julien and Bruce LaBruce, news began to travel through the room as cell phones began furiously buzzing. Finally someone announced the news aloud, and people gathered around an open laptop to confirm their disbelief. Throughout the afternoon and evening, Sundance festival attendees expressed ongoing disbelief and sadness about Ledger's passing. "This is an unimaginable tragedy. Heath was a true artist, a deeply sensitive man, an explorer, gifted and wise beyond his years. There is no finer person on this earth," praised Todd Haynes, director of Ledger in "I'm Not There," in a statement tonight. The film's producer Christine Vachon added, in a statement, "My heart breaks for Heath's family. Heath was a wonderful artist and a lovely man." Finally, indieWIRE also received a statement from James Schamus, CEO of Focus Features, which produced and distributed "Brokeback Mountain," for which Ledger was nominated for an Academy Award. "Heath Ledger was a courageous actor, and a great soul," Schamus said, "He gave us the gift of sharing his fearless and beautiful love - of his craft, and of all who worked with him - for which all of us will be eternally grateful." [Peter Knegt]
Heath Ledger in a scene from "I'm Not There"
News of the tragic death of actor