Personal appearances by tubthumping VIPs is nothing new for ShoWest, but rarely do those bigwigs come with a phalanx of Secret Service agents.
Monday night, though, the feds were out in force as former vice president Al Gore came to the confab’s indie film showcase at the Century Orleans multiplex.
He was on hand to encourage exhibs to get behind docu “An Inconvenient Truth,” in which Gore lays out the dangers of global warming, his own long history of advocacy on the issue and the dangers of continued inaction.
The former veep is working the festival circuit for his doc as if he were on the campaign trail. He was at Sundance before his ShoWest appearance, and he’s slated to attend Cannes.
Pic is the first acquisition of Paramount Classics under new topper John Lesher.
Gore encouraged the screening aud of ShoWest attendees to stand behind the pic and be patient with it. “If I asked you how many people saw ‘March of the Penguins,’ I bet every hand would go up,” he said. “But if I asked how many of you saw it in its first week or two, almost no hands would go up.”
Asked about his own plans to promote the film, Gore joked, “I’ll get behind the popcorn stand if you want me to.” He said he intends to promote the film “any way I can” and promised exhibs there would be a grassroots effort to bring auds to the film that would include both environmental and faith-based groups.
He challenged exhibs to set up panels and discussions to help auds find ways to take local action to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
Gore did not address his own future political plans and said he made a point of trying to keep the message of the film bipartisan.
He said he’d screened the film for hardcore conservatives led by Grover Norquist. Many of them “stood up afterward and said, ‘You’re absolutely right,’ ” Gore said.
He added that he and helmer David Guggenheim considered taking out one joke that jabs at Bush administration science policy. “We showed it to business people, and they said, ‘Keep it in, we can take that,’ ” Gore said.