Yesterday was a another long day in Park City. After walking out on a film at a Press & Industry screening (I'd rather not give away the title but it was pretty much unwatchable), I ended up seeing a few good films throughout the day, making the memory of the early film nothing but a bad dream...). One of the highlights was Peter Callahan's narrative film Against the Current, which was shot on the Hudson River, with locations including Beacon and other beautiful spots along the river. With terrific performances by Joseph Fiennes, Justin Kirk and Elizabeth Reaser, along with a hilarious scene with Mary Tyler Moore, the film played an ode to the Hudson in a way that I've never quite seen before. I would love to show it at the festival along with cast and crew.
Another very touching film was Tze Chun's premiere screening of his feature directorial debut Children of Invention. Such a beautiful film, with amazing performances by the two child stars, one age 8, other age 11, who drew laughter, tears and warm applause from the sold out house. Our personnel director, Lisa Myers, who was sitting next to me, was very moved by the story and wiped a few tears herself at the end (as did I...). During the Q&A I was watching Tze in amazement as he conducted the lengthy Q&A with confidence, dignity, kindness and intelligence well beyond his young years. I hope very much that the film will sell soon and many will get to see it and I look forward to Tze's next project.
Later on at the fabulous HBO dinner party I was talking to some old friends about football (yes, me...good thing the conversation quickly shifted to something else or I would have exhibited my football ignorance soon enough...), the upcoming inauguration, and of course, the movies we've all seen. It was nice to see that I was not the only one who shared the positive sentiments about the films mentioned above. Talking to Rick Allen, CEO of Snag Films, along with his staff member Andrew Mer and his executive vice president Stephanie Sharis, we discussed the growing trend of online distribution, the movies we've seen so far and our thoughts on the future of indie film. I was thrilled to see people like Nancy Abraham, vice president of documentary programming for HBO, Michael Maggiore of Film Forum, and many others who I have not seen for a couple of years. It was nice to engage in conversations again and, of course, invite them all to come back to the Woodstock Film Festival this fall. They are all invited to our breakfast this morning of course. Which reminds me. Gotta run and get to the NY Film Lounge now to prepare for our Breakfast gathering. Until next time then.