Paul Rudd, Emile Hirsch, and Joey Lauren Adams were just a few of the stars at premiere parties celebrating independent film at Sundance 2013. To take you there, we captured five parties, the music, food and stars for “Prince Avalanche”, “Blue Caprice”, “I Used to Be Darker”, “We Are What We Are” and “Pussy Riot – A Punk Rock Prayer.” We also don’t want to leave out the BAMcinemaFest party that celebrated NY Film.
1. Prince Avalanche (North American rights acquired by Magnolia Pictures) – The best part about this premiere party was meeting Paul Rudd! Honestly, he was even nicer in person than on camera, if that is possible. We were also fortunate to meet Emile Hirsch. When someone at the party compared it to “Brokeback Mountain”, Emile smiled, and explained that it’s very different. The main characters aren’t lovers, and it’s an offbeat comedy that will make you laugh. Hosted in a cozy furniture store on Main, Grey Goose was the main sponsor. In “Prince Avalanche”, two highway road workers spend the summer of 1988 away from the city. The isolation becomes a place of misadventure as Alvin (Paul Rudd) and Lance (Emile Hirsch) find themselves at odds with each other and the women they left behind.
2. Blue Caprice – Many of the premiere parties were held at Ciseros at the top of Main Street, including this one. After hiking up Main too many times, we got close to the bouncers. They card in all bars in Utah (pain!), and it was just colder than usual so you didn’t want to be standing outside in 10 degrees. During this party, we were fortunate to meet Joey Lauren Adams (“Chasing Amy”), and loved hearing her heartfelt Teachers Making a Difference Award speech at The Creative Coalition luncheon. “Blue Caprice” is about the Beltway sniper in the Washington DC and Northern Virginia area, which hits close to home, being from Baltimore.
3. Pussy Riot – A Punk Rock Prayer (acquired by HBO Documentary Films) – The premiere party for this documentary was also held at Ciseros. While they had live music, the parties honestly started to blur a little (except the Louisiana International Film Festival Parade and Party with Mardi Grad beads and gumbo.) The best part about this party was that we got in early, thanks to The Dude (aka Jeff Dowd), and ran into other familiar faces from Sundance, including Josee Nadeau, world famous artist. This documentary captures the story of three young women who faced seven years in a Russian prison for a satirical performance in a Moscow cathedral. Out of all the premiere parties we attended, this film documentary is the only one that received a Sundance Film Festival Award for World Cinema Documentary, Special Jury Award for Punk Spirit.
4. I Used to Be Darker – This cozy premiere party was one of the best at Sundance 2013. It was warm, they had hot cider, and a gourmet dinner buffet was a lifesaver after running on power bars all day. We were fortunate to meet one of the film’s producers, Laura Heberton, and two stars, Hannah Gross (Abby) and Deragh Campbell (Taryn.) When Taryn, a Northern Irish runaway, gets in trouble in Ocean City, Maryland, she seeks a safe harbor with her aunt and uncle in Baltimore (also filmed in my hometown). Little does Taryn know, there’s more family trouble in Baltimore. This story captures family revelations, and how they all figure it out.
5. We Are What We Are (U.S. Rights acquired by Entertainment One, “eOne”) – This Mystery Chili Party was held at 573 Main (which used to be the Bing Bar.) While we didn’t go for the chili, we ran into one of the film’s stars, Julia Garner (“The Perks of Being a Wallflower”) and three big bears. This film also stars Kelly McGillis (“Top Gun”), Amber Childers (“The Master”), Nick Damici (“Stake Land”), Wyatt Russell (Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell’s son) and Bill Sage (“Boardwalk Empire”.) The story features a seemingly wholesome and compassionate family, the Parkers, who keep to themselves. Behind closed doors, the patriarch Frank (Bill Sage) rules with rigidity, and is determined to keep his family customs intact at all costs. In this re-imagining of the 2010 Mexican film of the same name, “We Are What We Are” paints a suspenseful depiction of an introverted family struggling to keep traditions alive.
Along with these five premiere parties, we celebrated NY Film at the BAMcinemaFest Party, that will be held June 19-30, 2013 in Brooklyn, NY. This party was attended by the cast and crew of “After Tiller,” and was held at Rock and Reilly’s Irish Pub on Main. The dance tunes and ski hats were the best part of this film celebration. We also ran into John Cooper, Director of the Sundance Film Festival and Gabriele Caroti, Director of BAMcinématek. “After Tiller” filmmakers, Martha Shane and Lana Wilson, were celebrating their Women In Film Documentary Grant received at the WIF Brunch and Directors Panel earlier that day.
Many thanks to the hosts of these Sundance premiere parties, and big congrats to all the filmmakers who got films into the festival (it’s harder than getting into Harvard.) Check out our other Sundance 2013 stories and party recaps for The Creative Coalition Teachers Making a Difference Luncheon, The Creative Coalition Spotlight Initiative Awards and Women In Film Brunch. And for our Sundance 2013 videos, visit http://youtube.com/goodyawards
© Liz H Kelly @LizHKelly, National Digital Entertainment Columnist and Sunrise Road Media http://sunriseroadmedia.com