I just returned from the magnificent 2010 Sundance Film Festival where I was privileged to witness and be a part of what has become known as "Stewdance," a weekend long celebration of the talented Kristen Stewart.
First I attended the long-awaited, much-buzzed about World Premiere of Welcome to the Rileys
on Saturday, January 23rd. The 608-seat Racquet Club was filled to capacity as the audience was left stunned in amazement at this awesome achievement. I tweeted live from the festival, as noted in previous posts, and gave some immediate post-screening reactions at twitter.com/larry411
. My time was extremely limited for reporting on this blog so as I catch up I'll be discussing this remarkable film and some of the exciting conversations I had with the cast and crew afterward.
One of the many high-profile titles at the festival, Jake Scott's Welcome to the Rileys
features the world's hottest young star, Kristen Stewart. Son of Ridley and nephew of Tony Scott (both producers on the film), Jake Scott directs an all-star cast including James Gandolfini, Melissa Leo, and the ubiquitous Ms. Stewart. One would be hard pressed to be unaware of this talented teenager given her presence in the record-shattering Twilight
and The Twilight Saga: New Moon
, the latter currently at over $700 million in worldwide box office. Welcome to the Rileys
would most certainly have generated buzz regardless but, as director Scott told me after the Q&A, the filmmakers certainly don't mind the added attention from Kristen Stewart's international notoriety.
Producer Giovanni Agnelli has been uncharacteristically approachable to fans on the film's IMDb message board
. The "Twitterverse" had been abuzz for months about the film and how it would be accepted by the finicky Sundance crowd. I'm happy to report that the screenings received lengthy ovations. Most of the cast were present at the World Premiere screening I attended.
A few hours later I, along with some of my wonderful Twitter followers and IMDb friends, headed to a packed Harry O's on Main Street for a breathtaking concert with the legendary Joan Jett and the Blackhearts (see my pictures
from the event). As one of the lead characters in the film The Runaways
, set to premiere the following day, Jett pointed out several producers in the audience and brought some special guests up on stage. They included Ms. Stewart.
The next day, Sunday, January 24th, I attended the World Premiere of The Runaways
at the 1270-seat Eccles Theatre, the largest venue at the festival. Written and directed by Floria Sigismondi, the biopic about Jett's first group was based on bandmate Cherie Currie's book Neon Angel: The Cherie Currie Story
. Despite the enormous size of the auditorium, all wait list patrons had to be turned away. Jett and Currie participated in the Q&A along with cast and crew. As Joan Jett, Kristen Stewart was back on stage for the third time in 24 hours. She was joined by Dakota Fanning, who was frighteningly brilliant as Currie -- so much that she brought Cherie to tears.
It was truly a treat to see Ms. Stewart three times that weekend, including her performances in two fantastic films, and to speak with her on Saturday afternoon.
See the COMPLETE GALLERY (12 photos)