Sundance The Night Away

This weekend, I’m in Park City, Utah, for the X-Dance film festival. Think Sundance, but for action sports films. The festival runs alongside Sundance, but with no affiliation. Some great documentary films make their debut here, as they do at Redford’s festival. (At Sundance, ESPN purchased a great documentary called Kicking It, about the homeless soccer world championships. Look for it sometime this year.)

I’m here for the North American premiere of Bra Boys, a film narrated by Russell Crowe about a group of surfers from Maroubra Beach, Sydney, Australia. This is the group of guys I visited in early December and will write about in the magazine in March. Travis Pastrana’s film 199 Lives also premieres here at the festival, on Monday night. Unfortunately, I’ll be on my way to Aspen by then.

The Saturday-night premiere of Bra Boys was the first sell-out in X-Dance history, and the movie was well received. Since it’s already been purchased (by Crowe, Brian Grazer and Imagine/Universal), the filmmakers had no pressure to sell the movie to execs. At the end of March, the film will be released to about 100 theaters across the U.S.

It doesn’t take long to realize Park City is a weird place during Sundance, and much different from the quiet, everyone-knows-everyone ski town it is most every other week of the year. On Sunday, I watched the playoff games at the ESPN party (the second being one of the most fun football games I’ve ever seen), while sitting next to Reggie Bush (the host) and Jamal Anderson (who’s been eating a few too many free desserts) and chatting up a couple of movie producers (and Giants fans). We decided that had they scripted that Giants-Packers game, it would be the most un-sellable sports script in Hollywood. Way too Mighty Ducks to be believable.

At halftime of the Giants-Packers game, Paris Hilton stopped by the party, and so did Matthew Perry and an actor from Dodge Ball whose name I do not know. I ran into a pregnant Jessica Alba on my way to the bathroom, and then saw her practically attacked by a horde of “fans”. I learned that Sarah Jessica Parker is maybe the tiniest person in the world, that Dave Matthews drinks light beer and that Adrian Grenier is one talented guy. After seeing Maroon 5, Velvet Revolver, Little Jon and, we caught Grenier’s band, The Honey Brothers, late-night at the Green House on Main Street. He sang, and then played drums, lead guitar and a mean harmonica. And, let’s face it, he’s not bad to look at.

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