Sundance: Celebs chat up new films, diversity, Stacey Dash
Gabrielle Union: Who’s Stacey Dash?
Actress Gabrielle Union is taking aim at Stacey Dash after the Fox News contributor last week questioned the BET channel’s existence.
When asked Monday about Dash’s comments at the Sundance Film Festival premiere of “The Birth of a Nation,” in which she’s a cast member, Union first replied, “Who’s that? Who’s Stacey Dash? Is she like related to Dame Dash? Was she on Roc-A-Fella (Records)?”
Union, who has a TV series on BET called “Being Mary Jane,” said the BET Awards remain necessary because of the lack of diversity in mainstream awards.
“The more that we focus on inclusion and a true representation of this country, I think that crazy lady will have less to say,” Union said of Dash.
Judd Apatow: Proud papa at daughter’s premiere
Producer, director and writer Judd Apatow was quite the proud dad at the Sundance premiere last week of the movie “Other People.”
His 17-year-old daughter, Maude Apatow, who has appeared in “Knocked Up,” “Funny People” and “This is 40,” is in the film — and it’s her first movie not made by her dad or starring her mom, Leslie Mann.
“It’s really nice,” said Maude on the red carpet with dad Judd standing close by. “This is the first film I’ve done without my parents too, and I think it feels like the same sort of people like funny people and I felt really comfortable the whole time. It was awesome.”
Kristen Stewart: Fest for ‘esoteric film nerds’
Kristen Stewart, who premiered her film “Certain Women” on Sunday, said the Sundance Film Festival is for “esoteric film nerds” and that’s why it matters.
On the red carpet, she talked about why Sundance celebrates and encourages a variety of storytelling, more so than a mainstream Hollywood production company.
“That production company wants to make money and here, they just like to showcase film and highlight work that they admire,” explained Stewart. “(Sundance is) an institution for independent film, it’s like there aren’t too many places to celebrate little, tiny movies that most people don’t see and, you know, for two weeks out of the year we go like, ‘This is the most important thing’ because it’s a really close-knit, little family.”
Stewart described “Certain Women” as “a very quiet, tiny, thoughtful, little movie.”
Effie Brown: Women need to be part of the diversity solution
Film and television producer Effie Brown believes that women and people of color have been complicit, at some level, in taking a back seat in Hollywood.
“Somehow, we co-signed this. Somehow, we participated,” she told a rapt audience at the annual Women at Sundance brunch Monday.
Brown, who became a public voice for diversity and inclusion in entertainment after butting heads with Matt Damon last year in an episode of HBO’s “Project Greenlight,” encouraged the women in attendance to explore their own unconscious bias and “blind spots” — and then to go further.
If those who want to change the equation in Hollywood aren’t taking action against the status quo, they’re supporting it, she said. Brown urged everyone in the room to “hire, mentor and invest” in women and people of color. “We are up against something,” Banks said, “which is the entirety of human history.”