On Saturday, March 27, at the Tribeca Cinemas’ secret back room, closing-night ceremonies were held for the short-but-sweet Artivist Film Festival. Half the crowd consisted of finance types doing their best to look arty; the other half, artists trying to appear financially stable. (The term “artivist” describes the intersection between artistic endeavors and activist causes. Avoid it.)
The program included screenings of two films: The first, Poliwood, directed by Barry Levinson, explores the relationship between politics and Hollywood (needless to say, there is a lot of portmanteau-ing at the Artivist Festival); the second, 8, was created in the Paris Je T’aime vein by eight directors, including Gus Van Sant, Jane Campion and Mira Nair, each of whom tackled one of the U.N. Millennium Development Goals.
Receiving a humanitarian award was Dr. Noel J. Brown, celebrated environmentalist and CEO of the Hollywood-heavy Friends of the United Nations. “I am an old film buff,” Dr. Brown told us, “and we are trying to create our own films. I am now developing a concept treatment on the eight [secretary generals] of the United Nations, to talk about leadership in the service of humanity.” We’re sure Jerry Bruckheimer will be all over it!
Dr. Brown added that his organization hoped to also create a “Friends of the United Nations Internet TV channel” in the near future.
Actor Richard Belzer, in the news earlier this month when a 21-year-old Apple Store employee accused him of choking her (he was released without being charged), brought his very well-behaved dog to the event; he informed us that although he has been keeping up with March Madness, he doesn’t favor any particular team. “I just like when underdogs win,” he said. Mr. Belzer is perhaps best known for playing Detective John Munch on Homicide and several iterations of Law and Order-what other character would he most like to play? “Sherlock Holmes,” he said, shrugging off the fact that Robert Downey Jr. beat him to the punch.
Another of the night’s honorees was Creative Coalition executive director Robin Bronk, looking lovely in a Nanette Lepore frock. “I was a lobbyist in Washington for the record industry, and I sort of became the Hollywood girl on the Hill,” she said, explaining how she got the gig. “Billy Baldwin, who was president of the Creative Coalition, found me, and he called me the night before I gave birth to my third daughter. I said, ‘This is my dream job, but I can’t talk!'” Ms. Bronk recalled. “And then he called me the next morning in Labor and Delivery. He was very tenacious with me. … I was, like, giving birth. My doctor yelled at me, ‘Get off the phone!'” Oh, those Baldwins!