The year’s film fests delivered on glitz and glam but also showed signs of brazen corporate infiltration during 2003.
At Sundance, festgoers like Ben and J.Lo seemed to enjoy being swaddled in swag while others chose to wear their indie hearts on their sleeves: “Station Agent” thesp Bobby Cannavale flashed crowds with antiwar T-shirt.
Cannes became the venue for studio promo free-for-alls, with nonfest entries such as “T3” and DVD launches for titles like “Giant” luring some of the wattage away from the fest itself.
Venice proved to be a more traditional swankfest, luring some celeb heavies, including George Clooney, Catherine Zeta-Jones and the “21 Grams” crew: Sean Penn, Benicio Del Toro and Naomi Watts.
The fest train continued in Toronto, which saw its biggest turnout of luminaries in years. Nicole Kidman, Anthony Hopkins, Denzel Washington, Meg Ryan, Nic Cage and others in the Coppola clan were among the revelers putting in face time.
Several Venice alums made the Toronto trek, too, including Scarlett Johansson, who then moved on to New York for more premieres and parties for “Lost in Translation” and “Girl With a Pearl Earring.” Kidman, busy on the fest circuit all year, also hit the carpet there. (See box at right.)
The seemingly endless fest stops didn’t end there, with New York, London and Havana drawing industryites till deep into the final months of the year. And already it’s time to book those Express Passes for 2004 Sundance — or the suits at the Coca-Cola Co. and Starbucks will snag the last ones.