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The opening night gala of the second annual Doc NYC Fest was crawling with stars — documentary stars.

Along with Werner Herzog, whose “Into the Abyss” kicked off the nine-day fest, nonfiction film’s elite including Barbara Kopple, Albert Maysles and Laura Poitras were surrounded by verite groupies Nov. 2 at NYU’s Skirball Center.

Last month’s news that Herzog will play a villain in Tom Cruise’s upcoming “One Shot” was the main topic of conversation prior to the premiere.

“In Hollywood, Werner Herzog may be a villain, but here at Doc NYC, he is our hero,” said the fest’s artistic director, Thom Powers.

For his part, Herzog insisted he’s not a workaholic.

“It comes as it comes. I don’t plan out my career,” the helmer said before abruptly stopping the interview to find his checkbook in order to write a check to a fellow partygoer.

“He’s not a workaholic, but he’s always working,” IFC prexy Jonathan Sehring said at the Skirball rooftop afterparty. “It’s lucky for us. Who doesn’t want to see a Werner Herzog film?” – — Addie Morfoot