HBO fetes the ‘Splendor’ of France

'Sellers,' 'Bright' personnel also mingle at soiree

The grumpy, modest, eccentric and compulsive avant-garde comicbook writer Harvey Pekar may seem a somewhat incongruous visitor to the French Riviera, but he and his wife Joyce Brabner were in Cannes on Saturday to celebrate the unveiling of their Sundance hit “American Splendor.”

HBO Films and its U.S. distributor Fine Line Features threw a relaxed and elegant soiree Saturday night held at the Martinez Beach.

Pekar and the filmmakers for HBO’s other Cannes competish entry “Elephant” were in full force as pic’s helmer Gus Van Sant was mingling freely with guests as were actors Andie MacDowell, cast members of “The Life and Death of Peter Sellers” — Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson and Italian actress Sonia Aquino — and “Bright Young Things'” helmer Stephen Fry among others.

HBO has had a huge presence at this year’s Cannes Film Fest as company hosted a slew of events Saturday and Sunday for “Splendor,” “Elephant” and the Rush starrer “The Life and Death of Peter Sellers.”

Sipping champagne, the evening’s magnanimous host Colin Callender, HBO Films prexy, summed up the mood of this year’s fest.

“The French love us being here and we readily admit that we love being in France,” he said.

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