You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘The Walk’ Director Robert Zemeckis Honored at Variety NYFF Party

In a career that’s spanned more than three decades and a dozen blockbusters, Robert Zemeckis has been lauded for using technological wizardry to tell deeply human stories in such films as “Cast Away,” “Back to the Future” and “Forrest Gump.”

The Oscar-winning director was honored by Variety on Monday night for his latest cinematic tight-rope act, “The Walk,” which uses 3D to bring viewers 110 stories above Manhattan as Philippe Petit uses a high wire to move back and forth between the Twin Towers.

“It was a unique moment in the city’s history, and I always felt this could be a love letter to the city and a love letter to the towers,” said Zemeckis.

He noted that when Petit pulled off his stunt in 1974 many New Yorkers viewed the Twin Towers as an eyesore, likening them to “filing cabinets.” That changed after seeing the high-wire walker defy gravity.

“He brought a human spirit to the towers and New Yorkers really began to love those towers,” said Zemeckis.

The Walk” served as the opening night film of this year’s New York Film Festival — a fitting venue for it to premiere. The memory of the Sept. 11 attacks that destroyed the towers bring an added poignance to seeing the iconic piece of the city’s sky scare resurrected on screen.

Variety Co-Editor-in-Chief Claudia Eller called the film a “Valentine to New York” and praised the director, saying, “It is a cinematic triumph of your creativity and your technological know-how.”

Zemeckis was honored as part of Variety‘s Gotham 60 celebration, an annual compendium of the city’s entertainment and media movers and shakers. The party at Lincoln Ristorante drew a crowd that included Showtime Networks Chairman Matt Blank, Bleecker Street CEO Andrew Karpen, “Fun Home” writers Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori,  Independent Filmmaker Project chief Joana Vicente, CAA’s Eric Wattenberg, ICM’s Ayala Cohen, Locomotive Co-Founder Lucy Barzun Donnelly, Maven Pictures Principal Celine Rattray, Red Crown Productions chiefs Daniel Crown and Daniela Taplin Lundberg, Weinstein Company acquisitions head Dan Guando, and First Deputy Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment Luis Castro.

More Scene

  • Marianne Rendon, Matt Smith, Ondi Timoner

    Robert Mapplethorpe Biopic Team Talks 'Fast and Furious' Filming

    Thursday night’s New York premiere of the Matt Smith-led biopic “Mapplethorpe” took place at Cinépolis Chelsea, just steps from the Chelsea Hotel where the late photographer Robert Mapplethorpe once lived — but director Ondi Timoner had no sense of that legacy when she first encountered him in a very different context. “When I was ten [...]

  • Producer Mel Jones poses at the

    'Dear White People' Producer Talks Hollywood's 'Black Tax'

    “Dear White People” and “Leimert Park” executive producer Mel Jones is extremely familiar with growing up and watching “white men in all types of roles and never [seeing] ourselves as a part of those narratives.” Now, there may be some more opportunities for writers of color to tell their own stories, but, she notes, there [...]

  • Rebel Wilson Isn't It Romantic

    Rebel Wilson on Twitter Gaffe: 'It Was Purely to Lift My Fellow Plus-Size Women Up'

    “I obviously misspoke in that situation,” Rebel Wilson told Variety at the premiere of her latest film “Isn’t It Romantic” Monday, acknowledging the gaffe in which she claimed to be the first-ever plus-sized woman to star in a romantic comedy during an October appearance on “Ellen.” Following the comment, Wilson was met with criticism from Twitter [...]


    How Lena Waithe Convinced Halle Berry to Team Up for 'Boomerang' TV Series

    Halle Berry wasn’t immediately sold on the idea of a “Boomerang” reboot. The 1992 romantic comedy, which starred Berry, Eddie Murphy, and Robin Givens, told the tale of cocky ad executive and insatiable ladies’ man Marcus (Murphy) who meets his match in his new boss Jacqueline (Givens) — an exec who treats him the same [...]

  • Rebel Wilson and Miley Cyrus'Isn't it

    Why Liam Hemsworth Wasn't at His 'Isn't It Romantic' Premiere, but Wife Miley Cyrus Was

    Liam Hemsworth had every intention of bringing his wife, Miley Cyrus, to Monday’s premiere of his new romantic comedy “Isn’t It Romantic.” However, the Aussie actor was forced to skip the evening because of some “health things.” That didn’t stop Cyrus from attended the red carpet shindig at the Theater at the Ace Hotel in downtown [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content