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The Gossip from Sundance: Soderbergh Defects to Slamdance, Gates Dances at Cicero’s

This is the stuff they never tell you about in The New York Times

All the Gossip From Sundance:

* Microsoft bazillionaire Bill Gates was seen dancing on a table with a bunch of girls at Cicero’s all Sunday night, at a party for singer John Legend. I didn’t see it, but I am told there is video, and possibly photos on Facebook.  Readers, go forth and search. Mikey Glazer appears to have seen it too, and he has a photo and all the details.

* Sundance issued a five-page primer on “how to behave when you’re a seller”, including acting polite to the volunteers at the screeners.

* Steven Soderbergh, a filmmaker who may well be synonymous with the Sundance brand (“sex, lies and videotape” put the festival on the map in 1989), gave his latest film to Slamdance.  “And Everything is Going Fine” is screening at the rival festival. I asked Sundance executive director John Cooper about this slight, and Cooper told me that the director never brought the film to his attention. When he did, Cooper said, , the director responded that he was trying to “share the love, babe.”

* Who’s got money to spend this year? Honda, for sure. They’re branded all over the place, and even commissioned mini-films with budgets high above Sundance norms to promote their ‘dreams’ campaign. Name filmmakers like documentarian Joe Berlinger are among those who made movies for the carmaker.

* Also lots of new media money here: There’s a Bing bar, there was a Twitter party. T-mobile is hosting dinners. Thank God somebody’s still got some dough.

* And it is that transitional time. We see lots of former high-powered executives part of the mix, wandering around, looking for firm ground that independent film still does not offer: former Paramount honcho John Lesher, consultants Tom Ortenberg, Mark Urman, Cassian Elwes. He must be here, but I haven’t seen hide or hair of John Sloss, who once ruled these byways.