Avoiding slush puddles at Sundance

Keener, Hoffman and Bill Gates take part in festivities

Heavy snow marked the first few days of the Sundance Film Festival, causing nightmarish travel delays for showbizzers and other VIPS.

Tricky maneuvering was required to get around Park City on foot. On opening night, Catherine Keener walked carefully down Main Street trying to avoid slush puddles after seeing her pal Spike Jonze’s short film “I’m Here.”

The post-screening party, hosted by the film’s financier Absolut Vodka, served as a reunion for various Sundance alums, including helmers Taika Waititi, Jody Hill and fest’s 2004 and 2009 docu prizewinner Ondi Timoner, who is on the docs jury this year.

Bill Gates showed up at a dinner on Friday for education docu “Waiting for Superman,” in which he’s featured. Helmer Davis Guggenheim and financier/producer Jeff Skoll were relaxed, thanks to their freshly inked deal on the film with Paramount.

Docu’s producer Lesley Chilcott participated in a Women in Film panel on Sunday calling for “an education war,” or that everyone at least needs to start thinking about the education crisis that way.

Among other musical greats in Park City, Joan Jett played on Saturday night, and again on premiere night of the pic based on the story of her first band, “The Runaways.”

Jonze and Rinko Kikuchi popped into a dinner on Friday for Sony Classics’ “Please Give,” where others in the mix included the film’s Keener, Amanda Peet and Oliver Platt.

Environmental visionary Lester Brown flew in for Washington D.C. to support “Climate Refugees,” which preemed at the fest on Saturday. In a telling twist, the film’s post-party had to be moved because the original venue couldn’t be accessed due to all the snow.

Snowstorms lifted on Sunday. A few rays of sun shone on Gersh’s brunch, where Sundancers enjoyed a laid-back hang with thesp-helmer Josh Radnor and Philip Seymour Hoffman, who was there with the cast from his directing bow “Jack Goes Boating.”

Hoffman was also honored that night with the Acura Indie Impact award at Variety’s 10 Directors to Watch party. Hoffman was emotional as he accepted the kudo from his longtime friend and collaborator John Ortiz. He noted the importance of relationships in his artistic world and said, “if it’s personal, it’s independent.”

More Scene

  • Dwayne Wade holds up the legend

    Dwyane Wade, Megan Rapinoe Win Big at 2019 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Sports Awards

    The 2019 Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Sports Awards was filled with incredible athletes, inspiring moments and — of course — a massive amount of slime. “I love the kids. I love the slime. I loved the games. I love seeing celebrities and athletes like become kids again. And it’s like my favorite thing,” Michael Strahan told [...]

  • Dave Bautista and Kumail Nanjiani

    Dave Bautista Talks Representation in Hollywood and Defying Stereotypes with 'Stuber'

    Dave Bautista and Kumail Nanjiani make an unlikely duo in “Stuber,” an R-rated comedy about a police officer and his Uber driver. But the two connected over the rare chance to star in the film as actors of Asian descent (Baustia is half-Filipino and Nanjiani is Pakistani). “I’ve been stereotyped for a couple different reasons [...]

  • Skin

    How Jamie Bell Transformed Into a Neo-Nazi for 'Skin'

    Anyone who still associates British actor Jamie Bell with his breakout role as a young boy who dreams of becoming a ballet dancer will quickly forget all about “Billy Elliot” after seeing “Skin,” which screened at ArcLight Hollywood on Thursday night. “I was shocked,” the film’s writer-director, Guy Nattiv, told Variety of his leading man’s [...]


    Leonardo DiCaprio-Produced Doc 'Sea of Shadows' Takes on Mexican Cartels

    Leonardo DiCaprio‘s latest eco-documentary “Sea of Shadows” doesn’t shy away from taking on Mexican cartels. “For some of the guys there, he is state enemy number one at the moment,” said producer Wolfgang Knöpfler at the documentary’s premiere on Wednesday night at Neuehouse in Los Angeles. “The cartels don’t like him.” Appian Way and DiCaprio [...]

  • Megan Rapinoe and USWNT - 2019

    ESPY Awards 2019: What You Didn’t See on TV

    The ESPYs’ television broadcast only paints so much of the picture of what went down at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles from sports’ biggest award ceremony. Viewers at home saw Tracy Morgan host, celebrities like Sandra Bullock present and athletes including Drew Brees, Alex Morgan and Giannis Antetokounmpo receive awards, but they didn’t quite [...]

  • Queen and Slim

    'Queen & Slim' First Look, Motown Panel With Valerie Jarrett Highlight Essence Festival Events

    Universal Pictures hosted an exclusive preview event at Essence Festival Saturday to screen the first twelve minutes of “Queen & Slim,” the hotly anticipated film written by Lena Waithe and directed  by Melina Matsoukas, known for her visionary work with Beyoncé (“Lemonade,” “Formation”) and “Insecure.” Held at the historic Gallier Hall in New Orleans, the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content