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Hamptons: Best to Ben

Hamptons: Best to Ben

Saturday night in the Hamptons was a true highlight and a terrific capper to the final festival I’ll attend as Editor-in-Chief of indieWIRE (after November 1st, this blog will be my sole editorial outlet here at iW as I embrace my co-founder title and head to the Film Society of Lincoln Center). For months I’d been anticipating the Hamptons/indieWIRE Industry Toast to Ben Barenholtz, an idea that came together earlier this year with Frances McDormand, Joel Coen and Ethan Coen as the catalysts. The three of them owe a lot to Ben and Saturday’s event was a chance for them to give something back just a few days after he celebrated his 75th birthday (see full story at indieWIRE).

The moment that Saturday night’s toast morphed into a genuine roast is captured in the five minutes of video above. Ben’s good friends Bingham Ray and Eamonn Bowles took the stage and brought down the house with a hilarious multimedia presentation that they created with Arnie Sawyer.

Sitting in that room, listening to the array of amazing toasts and tributes, I was reminded that even though I’ve been a part of the New York film community for more than 15 years, I’m still a member of a younger generation. As I explained during a brief on stage intro, Ben, Bingham, Eamonn, Michael Barker, Sam Kitt, Bob Berney, Marcie Bloom, the Coens, Stanley Tucci, Holly Hunter and many of the others in the room shaped my own interests in independent, foreign and documentary film twenty years ago and then were among those who inspired us when Mark and I dreamt up indieWIRE with a few other folks back in the mid 90s.

It was a great night to look back at the same time that we ponder the future.

After the Montauk bash a bunch of us headed over to Alan and Susan Patricof’s house in East Hampton to salute Derek Cianfrance and his latest film, “Blue Valentine.” It was a rare moment to find folks like Harvey Weinstein, Bingham Ray, Michael Barker and Eamonn Bowles in the same room, guys who’ve been quite competitive over the years. Pictured below hanging out on the back patio enjoying the perfect October weather at the Patricof home are Magnolia’s Bowles (left), indieWIRE co-founder Mark Rabinowitz and October Films co-founder Ray, with man of the hour Ben Barenholtz (center). The party spanned a couple of generations, rounded out by busy director Ondi Timoner and new generation producers Jamie Patricof, Alex Orlovsky, Amy Hobby, Celine Rattray, Jay Van Hoy and Lars Knudsen, as well as Kodak’s Anne Hubbell among others.

What a terrific evening.

photo by eugene hernandez

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