Hollywood Shuffle: Sundance…It’s a Wrap!

The 2010 Sundance Film Festival is a wrap. This is my 6th Sundance Film Festival, and I have to say it really seems like it’s going back to its roots. Most of the 2010 films being talked about are documentaries.

Over the years, the major studios marketed their already signed films too agressivley and it took away from the indie state-of-mind.There was a noticeable lack of big name stars this year, but the talented still migrated to Park City. Passion and prosperity danced in the snow for ten days to see who’s soul will break first. The films featured at the Sundance Film Festival push the ever evolving modern art form of film making from a grass roots level to corparate consumption. That dance can be violent and clumsy if not paired correctly, but when matched perfectly we can all enjoy the films that show us who we are, have been, and can be. These are some of the highlights from a couple of my days at the festival:

My film pick is “Freedom Riders.” This is the first feature length film about these heroes of the civil rights movement. Stanley Nelson has created an  emotional, powerful, and comprehensive documentary about the Freedom Riders of the ’60s. You can feel your blood boil when watching some of the images seen in this film. This film makes you feel so thankful for the faith and courage of those involved in this battle for civil rights. They inspired John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, and Dr. Martin Luther King, now it is time to let the “Freedom Riders” inspire you.

Gotta say that House of Hype Hospitality Lounge was dope. I could get out of the cold and enjoy a nice cold beer after walking uphill at a high elevation and wanting to pass out. Not to mention VIP Gifting by G-Shock, Samsung and Sean John helps to ease that pain really quick.

The “Bing Supper Club Dinner Hosted by Ben Lyons” raised money for the One X One Charity. The wonderful organization helps people all over the world, and has been on the ground in Haiti for a number of years. (Check them out at www.onexone.org) The man at STK, in Los Angeles, Chef Larry Greenwood prepared an amazing meal that showcased his talents as one of the premiere chefs in LA.  After we got our grub on, we headed down to the Film Lounge at House of Hype (presented by AT&T) to watch John Legend and The Roots perform with special audience member Bill Gates.

Chefdance, an annual premiere culinary event at Sundance,featured two of my favorite chefs from Las Vegas. Chef Kerry Simon, from Simon at The Palms, cooked for over 200 VIP’s. Simon’s menu included  a delicious seared diver scallop, antebellum grits, roast heritage turkey and white bean chili,  roasted poblano corn bread,  Marmalade, and hot chocolate.

Chef Geno Bernardo, from Nove Italiano at The Palms Casino Resort, also braved the cold weather in Park City to fire up the grill. Geno’s menu included amuse: a tuscan stew, japanese farmed blue tuna, and a braised short rib.
TAOS night club was the late night spot. Robin Thicke, Devon Aoki, and Terrell Owens, posted up for some good music.

My interview with Kerry Washington was a highlight. We just sat there and gazed into each others eyes over a cup of tea. Okay…. I was doing all the gazing, but she did look quite lovely. We discussed the Sundance debut of “Night Catches Us” and re-teaming with her “She Hate Me” co-star Anthony Mackie. Also, we talked about her current day job starring in the Broadway show “Race.”


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