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AFM bash goes to the ‘Max

Studio event signals new direction for Weinsteins

Was Miramax Intl’s. annual AFM bash a going-away party?

The event usually presents a smattering of celebrities from the studio’s pics, but Harvey and Bob Weinstein brought out the big guns Friday night.

Among those who mingled with the Weinsteins in their rare AFM appearance were Quentin Tarantino, Kate Beckinsale, helmer Marc Forster and producer Lawrence Bender.

Tarantino and Forster both said they don’t know much about the annual film market.

“I haven’t been walking the booths in a Toxic Avenger outfit,” said Tarantino, who was unaware that this was the first time AFM was held in November.

“I never actually participated in (AFM),” Forster said. “I came to this party because (“Finding Neverland”) was (made by) Harvey and he has been very supportive of it.”

Indeed, that seemed to be the message the party wanted to deliver. During the past 48 hours, the toppers’ AFM presence has been perhaps the strongest in Miramax’s 25-year history. While that had to help Miramax Films chief operations officer Rick Sands sell the 18 titles in the company’s current AFM catalog, it seemed even more important to communicate that wherever the brothers Weinstein go, the goodwill of talent will follow.

Among those who enjoyed plenty of face time with Harvey and Bob were Brittany Murphy, Radha Mitchell, Mya, Joshua Jackson and helmer Peter Chelsom.

At the party, which followed a buyers’ screening of Wes Craven’s “Cursed,” Harvey told Variety that Miramax “is rockin’!” at the AFM.

However, partygoers seemed a little less optimistic about the shingle going forward. Particular anxiety was reserved for Miramax’s current slate of holiday award hopefuls.

Those associated with “The Aviator” and “Finding Neverland” expressed concern that the brothers’ uncertain future might distract them from giving the customary Oscar push to their high-profile contenders.

But whatever his future studio home may be, Harvey Weinstein conveyed at least one certainty: Wherever he winds up, he’ll remain prominent on the indie pic and sales scenes.

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