Sundance 2009 kicked off with the usual flurry of mad dashes as the red paint began to descend over Park City, dotted with celebs and those “on the list” racing from party to party, scurrying to make the right connections, pulling out all the stops to seal their deals. Since the festivities not to be missed were often scheduled at the same time in different venues, the objective of being in the right place at the right time could only have been solved by teleportation or cloning. More than one star had appetizers at Celebrity Chef’s dinners before ducking out early to race down the street to make it to a famous pal’s dinner party.
Whether it was due to the slump in the economy or because the history breaking inauguration took place in Washington, DC at the same time as the Film Festival, the production of Sundance 2009 paled in comparison to previous years. But even with a majority of celebrities opting for Washington to commemorate President Obama’s monumental inaugural celebrations; parties and SWAG still flourished at the festival.
The MySpace Cafe at the Sundance Lift was a perfect place for A-List celebrities such as Ben Affleck, Paris Hilton, Ashton Kutcher, Ashley Judd, and Nicky Hilton among many others to hang out, enjoy breakfast or lunch, and be able to surf the net or hold a press conference. Emmy Rossum waited tables on behalf of the charity Global Green for other Sundance celebrities like Michelle Trachtenberg, Zooey Deschanel, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Seth Green. Co-stars Billy Bob Thornton and Tea Leoni dropped by the MySpace Cafe at the Sundance Lift following the premiere of their film, “ Manure” Tuesday morning. Chris Rock checked out the latest celebrity news straight from the celebrities on MYSPACE CELEBRITY while sipping hot chocolate at the MySpace Cafe.
Gen Art made its expected splash at Sundance with two fantastic parties. The first was Gen Art’s Seven Fresh Faces In Film, a memorable event held at the Hollywood Life House, always a favorite location for high-end parties at Sundance. From the beginning, Hollywood Life House has been ranked by the LA Times and other media outlets as one of the most visible and successful Sundance spots and played host to some of the hottest celebrity events.
The Kenneth Cole Black / Gen Art event showcased the best in Independent filmmaking, celebrating feature film actors and their current Sundance films. Kevin Bacon, “ Taking Chances” was among the honorees. Nick Cannon, “ The Killing Room", served as guest DJ. Other celebrities at the Gen Art events were Virginia Madsen, Kyra Sedgwick, Harvey Weinstein, Andie McDowell, Efren Ramirez and Jeff Daniels.
The venue for the Kenneth Cole Black event was Greenhouse, an eco-conscious space at the Sky Lodge where Elizabeth Rosenthal, Senior Vice President of Susan Blond Inc. orchestrated one star-studded event after another with a seven day celebration at Greenhouse at the Sky Lodge. Another event at Greenhouse at Sky Lodge was “ Brooklyn’s Finest” party hosted by Richard Gere, Wesley Snipes, Ethan Hawke and Don Cheadle while MSN Green and Self Magazine put on an eco-friendly dinner for the documentary “ Crude” hosted by Trudie Styler and Sting, with guests such as Pierce Brosnan, John Cleese and Kevin Bacon. One morning IFC hosted Breakfast with Steven Soderbergh. Late night Greenhouse became a favorite after-hours venue as did LIVEstyle’s Film Lounge and After-hours series, at Downstairs at Sundance.
Island Def Jam at The House of Hype hosted Hospitality Lounges for the stars and filmmakers by day, while opening their Ultra Lounge until 3 AM.
All over town SWAG suites flourished. Many sent cars to pick up the A-Listers and offered luxurious massages, beauty treatments by celebrity stylists, gourmet chefs preparing special delicacies, pampering, primping and bestowing glamorous gifts and luxury vacations.
Jeremy Jackson of Bay Watch and VH1‘s “ Confessions of a Teen Idol,” hosted Christian Audigier’s, Ed Hardy Shoes VIP cocktail party and after-hours events in a beautiful mansion with hundreds of thousands of dollars in concert sound and lighting with DJ Rush and DJ Rad Ryan spinning till 5 am all weekend with an open bar and Maserati car service picking guests up from Main Street. American Idol runner up, David Archuleta was there as were members of 36 Mafia and many others.