2005_sundance_logo.jpgSundance definitely hit its stride in the last day or so and now the exodus has begun. The scene is getting quiet. More film goers and less partyers are trolling around and those that have been here from the beginning are slowing down.

The last couple of days have been pretty hectic for us. We took in a few more films, saw some great music and of course, there were the parties, more free hats and celebrity sightings.

Being from Gotham, we've been on the look out for anything New York related. We were happy to find the New York Film Commission set up on Main street, doling out free bagels and discussing the advantages of shooting in New York. They also threw a soiree last night in a beautiful house up on a hill. Rumor had it that Pataki was going to be in attendance but we didn't see him and we were there until the wee hours.

As far as filmmakers, Hal Hartley, George C. Wolfe, Kevin Bacon, Ira Sachs, Steve Buscemi, Noah Baumbach, Adrienne Weiss, Michael Kang, Alice Wu and Mark & Jay Duplass are among those hailing from New York with films in the fest. And, we were happy to count that there are 24 projects screening that were shot in New York.

Our time is short, but before we sign-off here are a few more "Gothamist @ Sundance" awards or "GAS-ies", as we'd like to call them:

smvolleyball.jpgMost interesting non-food or beverage item being served at a party- Volleyball
People were actually playing volleyball during the New York Film Commission party. There was a mini court downstairs that New York filmmakers Ari Gold and Loren Marsh exercised. Other features of the house included a jacuzzi with a waterfall, a lap pool and a heavily trafficked massage table.

Smoothest party entry - IFP/LA's party at the Turning Leaf Lounge
Gothamist and posse ran into Elvis Mitchell on the street and somehow persuaded him to walk down with us to the IFP party. When we arrived at the door it was like Moses parting the Red Sea. We all filed in and Elvis quickly struck up a conversation Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick, who were also in attendance.

smkirby.jpgFirst 2005 Academy Award Nominee that we had the pleasure of photographing - Kirby Dick (Minnie Driver comes in a close second)
Kirby Dick's Twist of Faith is up for the Academy Award for Best Documentary, the film is also screening at Sundance this week. We found Kirby at the IFP/LA party and asked him and Lynda Hansen if we could take a picture. Twist of Faith, which we caught tonight, is about a man who was sexually abused as a young boy by a clergyman and decides to take action when he discovers the man is living just five doors down from him. Kirby's other films include Sick, Derrida and Chain Camera. We wish him luck.

smvariety.jpgEvent with the best Mac & Cheese - Variety's 10 Directors to Watch Party
We seem to recall three varieties of mac & cheese being served up to the packed house at Variety's party. This year, those pegged for greatness include: Paul Dinello (Strangers with Candy, Fernando Eimbcke (Duck Season), Lu Chuan (Kekexili:Mountain Patrol, John Harkrider (Mitchelleville), Miranda July (Me and You and Everyone We Know), Pawel Pawlikowski (My Summer of Love), Greg McLean (Wolf Creek), Ira Sachs (Forty Shades of Blue), Michael Traeger (The Moguls), and Matthew Vaughn (Layer Cake).

smben_gibbard.jpgMusician assuming the Grizzly Adams look - Ben Gibbard
We aren't sure how long he has been sporting the beard, but his furry face was new to us. He put on a great (but short) set as part of the BMI showcase at the Kimball Art Center Wednesday night. Among the others performing were Academy Award nominee Minnie Driver (we were surprised by the actress' singing abilities) and Vanessa Carlton.

Jamie-mineworkers-sm.jpgBest film featuring gun wielding pacifists - Dear Wendy
Directed by Thomas Vinterberg (The Celebration) and written by Lars von Trier, Dear Wendy follows the same anti-American vein as Dogville. This time around these Dogma Danes exploit America's fascination with hand guns. Jamie Bell (the boy from Billy Elliot) delivers a great performance as Dick. He's our new "It" boy. He's also in another Sundance film The Chumscrubber.