Indie met studio on Friday night — but there was no talk of the screener ban during opening night of the 41st New York Film Festival. Sony Classics’ Michael Barker and Tom Bernard, Newmarket’s Bob Berney and Focus Features’ James Schamus joined Warner Bros. toppers Alan Horn and Barry Meyer at the “Mystic River” bow, where the only talk of politics came from helmer Clint Eastwood.
“I’m the guy not running for governor,” joked Eastwood as he introduced his “dream team”: Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Marcia Gay Harden and Laura Linney, along with scribe Brian Helgeland and author Dennis Lehane. Post pic, guests made their way from Avery Fisher Hall to the nearby Tavern on the Green for the gala reception. In the mass of human traffic, dates went missing and agents looked about eagerly for clients.
Among those spotted in the throng were Naomi Watts, Natalie Portman, Gael Garcia Bernal, James Caan, Gretchen Mol, Richard Linklater, opera diva Renee Fleming, fest selection committee chair Richard Pena and Alan Cumming, shyly doing his duties as ambassador for fest sponsor Grand Marnier.