Film Scouts Diaries

1997 Sundance Film Festival Diaries
Day One: Arrival

by Gill Holland

Friday: I always vowed never to go to Sundance until I had a film in the festival - so this year I was lucky enough to have been a producer on Morgan J. Freeman's "Hurricane," and here I am in Park City. After a farewell dinner in New York attended by some of the crew and cast of the film, and such friends as Christina Ricci ("The Adams Family," "Casper"), Boaz Yakim ("Fresh") and Lawrence Bender (producer of "Pulp Fiction"), and drinks and dancing at Don Hill's, I had one hour of sleep and took a taxi to Morgan's at 5 AM where we had a car taking us to the airport. The plane was full of familiar faces, everybody from lawyer and Executive Producer John Sloss and the cast of "subUrbia," including my friend Samia Shoaib, to lawyer Ira Schreck, to Martha Plimpton, who I offered my seat to so she could sit with her friend (thinking I should start the good karma for the festival). The "Hurricane" crew included fellow producer Galt Niederhoffer, Executive Producers LM Kit Carson and Cynthia Hargrave, Line Producer Nadia Leonelli, star Brendan Sexton III, and of course Morgan. At the airport in Salt Lake City, we met First AD Jamin O'Brien, who will be part of the 20 man contingent that makes up the "Hurricane" coalition at Sundance (all staying in a three bedroom condo). Ran into Greg Araki producer Andrea Sperling and cineBLAST! short film director Jamie Babbitt (whose short "Frog Crossing" is at the festival this year). The "Love God" crew was floating around and we had a Julianne Moore sighting...Arrived in Park City, figured out lodging logistics, picked up our passes and then went straight to MTV where Morgan, Brendan and I were interviewed for their show. Then it was off to the Hospitality Suite where I ran into "100 Proof" producer George Nicholas, and I ended up getting interviewed by Kirk Honeycutt of the Hollywood Reporter about the film I just co-produced with Jean Luc Godard, Rob Tregenza's "Inside/Out." Kirk assured me that there was wicked buzz on "Hurricane" and pushed his number into my palm and said "as soon as anything happens, call me." Then it was back to the condo for a quick kip and regroupment, and then had a meeting with Ari Gold who co-directed "Frog Crossing" at the Treasure Mountain Valley Inn where John Pierson was launching his show "Split Screen." Then it was dinner with William Morris agents at the Seafood place on Main street and this turned into quite the scene, distributors coming over to say hi, Sidney Poitier's lovely daughters Anika and Sidney at an adjoining table, "Hurricane" co-star Jose Zuniga and star of the upcoming "Shoot That Clown" all joining our table.

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