NEW YORK — The presence of several uniformed New York City firefighting chiefs added to what was inevitably an emotional Gotham premiere Wednesday for “The Guys,” Jim Simpson‘s tribute to firefighters lost in the Twin Towers disaster.
“I always felt it was very important to show this movie to the firefighters before we opened, since it’s really for them,” said Sigourney Weaver, who stars as a journalist helping a grief-stricken fire captain write eulogies for his men. “I think the people who’ve seen it have appreciated the film and found it a comfort.”
“We’ve seen this film with firefighters and rescue workers and sports teams and people have responded to it with something approaching religious conversion,” said James Schamus, co-president of Focus Features.
“We’ve screened the film on a local level more extensively than most 1,000-print releases,” he added. “We’ve waged a very specific personal campaign on behalf of this film, because we love it and because we’re New Yorkers.”
The premiere took place at Alice Tully Hall as part of the New Directors/New Films festival, jointly programmed by the Museum of Modern Art and the Film Society of Lincoln Center, followed by a supper party at intimate Upper West Side eatery Gabriel’s.
Weaver and husband Simpson both wore floral leis from the latter’s native state of Hawaii. Joining them were Focus Features co-president David Linde, “The Guys” producer Jason Kliot and exec producer Edward R. Pressman, and Anne Nelson, who adapted the screenplay with Simpson from her play.
Also on hand were Weaver’s “Tadpole” co-stars Bebe Neuwirth and Aaron Stanford, producer Jean Doumanian, thesps Swoosie Kurtz, Polly Draper and Ron Livingstone and politician Mark Green.