Gen Art Film Festival

Kicking off on April 7 (aptly) , Gen Art hosted “7 premieres, 7 parties” as part of its 2010 Film Festival presented by Acura (http://genart.org/filmfestival). In its 15th year, the festival celebrates emerging filmmakers and talent and has been attended by a variety of celebs including Zoey Deschanel, Tom Everett Scott (whom I had the chance to meet following the premiere of Tanner Hall- more details below), Alec Baldwin, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and more.

Gen Art Film Festival 2010

Upon arriving, I was of course intrigued by the beverages and snacks available. Don Julio sponsored the bar and Popcorn, Indiana (yes, it’s popcorn and Popcorn, Indiana is a town 20 miles southwest of Bloomington) provided the popcorn in both kettlecorn and original movie theater flavors.  Drinks included tequila inspired concotions with reposado, anejo and others. I opted for the “Secret World” which featured reposado, spiced cider, fresh lemon and agave nectar.

Don Julio

 

Popcorn, Indiana

After getting my beverages and popcorn for enjoying the short and premiere on Monday, I found a seat.  The theme of the evening was “Ladies Night” celebrating women in film and their unique point of view. The evening was dedicated to the Adrienne Shelly Foundation (http://www.adrienneshellyfoundation.org/), a non-profit organization dedicated in loving memory to the uniquely gifted actor and filmmaker Adrienne Shelly who wrote, directed and acted in three feature films, “Sudden Manhattan,” “I’ll Take You There,” and “Waitress,” which premiered at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival as part of her repertoire.

Kicking off the films was a short called “Daughters” directed by Chloe Zhao who called the project “a personal film and a  really adventurous experience.” The film follows Maple, a 14 year-old girl living in China who is forced into an arranged marriage.

The premiere was “Tanner Hall” which made its U.S. premiere at the festival (having debuted at the Toronto Film Festival in 2009) and directed by Francesca Gregorini and
Tatiana Von Furstenberg (yes, DVF’s daughter).  The directors, both of whom call each other bff’s, said, “This film is about friendship in a lot of ways and how it’s shared is grueling and exciting. What moved me the most is how much goodwill and generous with time, talent and resources.” The film starred Rooney Mara as Fernanda (she also won the Rising Star award on closing night and reminded me A LOT of Natalie Portman) and Tom Everett Scott  as Gio of “That Thing You Do!” and other projects including Law & Order, Cashmere Mafia and Southland. The film profiles four teenage girls who attend an all-girls boarding school in New England and their coming of age stories. The film was provactive, thoughtful, disturbing and enlightening – I thorougly enjoyed it!  It also won the Grand Jury Award for Best Feature at the festival (which came with a $10K prize).

To cap off the evening, I headed over to the afterparty at Avenue at 116 Tenth Ave. at 17th Street (http://avenue-newyork.com/) where I had the opportunity to sample some additional Don Julio tequilas, meet the actors and industry folk and toast the team at Gen Art for a great success. 

Don Julio

With Tom Everett Scott

Tanner Hall Grand Jury Award for Best Feature

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