The 35th annual Sundance Film Festival 2020 brought lots of stars to Park City this year, as the first fest weekend rolled from January 24 to 27. That’s the big-buzz time in the snow, as Hollywood descends to play, party, screen and make deals. Here’s a look at some of the fun that was had in Utah over the long weekend, including the SAGIndie Actor’s Only Brunch (pictured).
The Audible Speakeasy had conversations all weekend, including one with Tessa Thompson, whose latest indy film “Sylvie’s Love” premiered at the festival. Others who made the speakeasy chat scene included Colman Domingo, Ron Howard and Rebecca Hall.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Will Ferrell and the rest of the cast of “Downhill” hit The Vulture Spot Presented by Fire TV to cut up a bit over the film, which is all about a dangerous skiing incident that rattles a couple’s lives – and isn’t a comedy, despite its funny leads. Hopefully no one had a similar experience on the slopes while at Sundance; people like Ethan Hawke, Viggo Mortensen, Julia Garner and Zazie Beetz all make the scene there at the Spot, too.
Some of Hollywood’s great minds broke bread at TheWrap Cocktail Party and Influencer Dinner held at 710 Bodega on January 27. With attendees ranging from film directors like Sam Feder, Bryan Fogel, Maimouna Doucoure and Julie Taymor, who joined composer Elliot Goldenthal, film producers Chris Miller, Amy Scholder and Zangro, and film school honchos Elizabeth Daley (USC) and Joe Pichirallo (NYU) and many others, the conversations were fascinating for cinema buffs. Here, TheWrap’s CEO Sharon Waxman takes a selfie with Oscar-winner Chris Miller and Studio 101’s Heather Phillips.
Aya Cash (“You’re the Worst”) and Nicholas Braun (“Succession”) chat with a guest (center) at United Talent Agency’s annual brunch at Riverhorse. Other attendees included Paul Bettany, Zosia Mamet, Jay Ellis, Aubrey Plaza, Sian Clifford and Phil Lord.
Lots of diverse faces turned up at The MACRO Lounge throughout the weekend, as MACRO power couple Stacey Walker King and her husband, producer Charles D. King, held court in support of their films showing at Sundance (“Blast Beat,” “Farewell Amor” and “Nine Days.” Kerry Washington, Issa Rae, America Ferrera, Winston Duke, Eva Longoria, Zazie Beetz, Lena Waithe, Daniel Dae Kim, Wilmer Valderrama, Tessa Thompson and Kenya Barris all turned up. Pictured here: Charles D. King, Kerry Washington and Stacey Walker King.
Martha Stewart headed to the House of ChefDance on Saturday to join ChefDance founder Mimi Kim and Michelin chef Melissa Perillo for a sumptuous dinner. She was honored with an award, too, and Amazon’s Jennifer Salke joined in the culinary feast. Other hungry festgoers who found good food at the ChefDance house included Cesar Milan and Sally Krawcheck.
Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Jason Mikita hunted down some swag at Debbie Durkin’s 13th annual EcoLuxe Lounge/ABC4 News Lounge; they found Vavoom Vodka, locally brewed Zolupez Artisan Beer and Chef Brian Woolley’s eats, for starters.
Things got really raucous at the TAO Hospitality Group’s 12th annual bash at Sundance, where the Casamigos tequila flowed and crowds of thirsty festgoers crowded into the pop-up space. DJ Vice kept the volume at 11 while Winston Duke, Chris Pang, Camila Mendes, Kenya Barris, Denzel Whitaker, Brody Jenner and a bunch of Utah Jazz players partied late into the night. Even The Chainsmokers made this wild scene.
More mindful (and sedate) times were had at the Wellhaus pop-up times three, where spa treatments, swag gifting and more were on offer in what they promise was a “zero-waste environment.” Lea Thompson, Mary Lynn Rajskub and the rest of the “Dinner in America” cast turned up (pictured), as did Rebecca Hall, Stacy Martin, Angela Robinson and more health-minded VIP festgoers.
RAND Luxury lured celebs out to the St. Regis Deer Valley resort with a series of private dinners that drew the “Black Bear” stars – Christopher Abbott, Aubrey Plaza, Lindsay Burdge, Paola Lazaro, Sarah Gadon, Jennifer Kim – and director Lawrence Michael Levine (pictured), as well as all the gals from the Go-Gos, Elisabeth Moss, Phil Lord and Sundance founder Robert Redford’s grandchildren, Lena and Dylan Redford. Dylan directed “Omniboat: A Fast Boat Fantasia,” which is unspooling at his grandpa’s festival.
Actors Carrie Bernans (pictured), Ashleigh Morghan and Darren Darnborough, who also is WeAudition’s cofounder brought some expertise to the WeAudition Future of Casting panel and party at Sundance, focusing on diversity and inclusivity in casting of all entertainment mediums.
HBO held a series of diverse events celebrating multiculturalism with “Our Stories to Tell,” including a bash named the Lowkey “Insecure” Dinner. Held at Firewood, it drew the crowd from the HBO show, including Alexander Hodge, Yvonne Orji, star-creator Issa Rae, Prentice Penny, Elaine Welteroth and Jay Ellis (pictured), who seemed to be having a blast at Sundance.
Once again, SAGIndie has made the trek to Park City, where they held both their 23rd annual Actors Only Brunch (hosted by Rachel Brosnahan, pictured, among others) and Filmmakers Luncheon on Sunday and Monday. Also on hand to host the actors: Garret Dillahunt, Colman Domingo, Richard Jenkins, Logan Lerman, Sunita Mani, Andrea Riseborough, Miriam Shor and Robin Thede; and to host the filmmakers: Max Barbakow, Radha Blank, Alex Huston Fischer, Liz Garbus, Natalie Erika James, Braden King, Lawrence Michael Levine and Eleanor Wilson.
Perhaps the biggest frisson at Sundance’s first weekend was the visit of Hillary Clinton, who attended both the premiere of the new Hulu documentary “Hillary” as well as the 2020 Women at Sundance Celebration Hosted by Sundance Institute and Refinery29. She hit the news cycle with her comments on not liking Bernie Sanders, but later really seemed to enjoy her time with other powerful women on Monday at the celebration. Pictured: Aisha Harris, Shaandiin Tome, Callie Holley, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Eva Longoria, Gloria Steinem, Keri Putnam and Amy Emmerich.