Felines take stage at Catdance, DeVito talks blizzard plan

AP News
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Posted: Jan 23, 2016 7:52 PM
Felines take stage at Catdance, DeVito talks blizzard plan

PARK CITY, Utah (AP) — The Associated Press is all over the Sundance Film Festival, which runs through Jan. 31, from its premieres to the Hollywood glitz. Here's what they've seen and heard:

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CATDANCE WITH HANNAH

"New Girl" star Hannah Simone drove 10 hours through the snowy mountains to stand up for cats.

The lifelong cat-lover is hosting the 4th annual Catdance Film Festival on Saturday night. The event, presented by Fresh Step cat litter, is a celebration of the cat video as elevated by filmmakers.

Simone said she has never lived in a house without a cat, and currently has two of her own: Jake and Frank, who she refers to as "the two old men."

"This made perfect sense," Simone said of coming to Park City, Utah, for Catdance. "Especially since there's such a great charity aspect to it, too."

The Catdance Film Festival is part of Fresh Step's Million Meow Mission to encourage cat adoptions. And for the first time, virtual-reality will help spread the word. Guests will be treated to showings of short VR film that offers a cat's-eye perspective on finding a forever home.

-- By Sandy Cohen

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GIFTS GALORE

Coming out of the snow into Kari Feinstein's Style Lounge, stars headed straight for Freed's collection of coats and fuzzy, fur-topped hats.

Marissa Freed, the fourth generation to lead the family-owned company, was having breakfast on Main Street in Park City when she saw actress Lorraine Toussaint wearing one of her company's coats. Freed confessed that she stood and cheered. Another company quickly finding celebrity fans at the Sundance suite was Coolway boots, which just became available in the United States.

The Sundance Eco-Lounge offered earth-friendly items to such stars as Kendra Wilkinson and Justin Long. Twenty Nine, a new handbag company, handed out vegan leather totes, while Bunetie Shoes showed off its collection of eco-friendly shoes made in Los Angeles.

The Eco-Lounge was also a gift suite with a conscience, as Choices Recovery was on hand to talk with celebrities about addiction, and Shriners Hospitals for Children was a beneficiary. Hospital spokeswoman Carla Valenzuela said appearing at the gift suite has brought celebrities, volunteers and donors to the hospital, which is opening a new facility in Los Angeles in 2017.

Sundance's Indie Lounge was all about the chill scene — think massages and coffee blended with healthy fats. The bar was serving up libations in keeping with that, including Rock N Roll tequila and ABK Hell beer. Among the goodies offered up to celebrities in the VIP suite: KNA candles made by sisters Kira and April Antuna in the kitchen of their Los Angeles home, Nomadic State of Mind Grateful Dead dancing bear shoes, Olympia backpacks and suitcases, hand-crafted Ramp snowboards and skis.

Gem Mountain Studios jewelry designer Baruch Kaufman displayed his creations of semi-precious stones wrapped in sterling silver and gold — and had another reason for wanting to have a presence at Sundance. His film, "Ctrl, Alt, Dlt," a tech-themed tale, was set to screen privately Saturday night.

--By Sandy Cohen

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HOW DANNY DEVITO ESCAPED THE BLIZZARD

Danny DeVito had a plan for escaping the east coast blizzard even before it hit: He headed west to the Sundance Film Festival.

"I'm only staying tonight. I'm leaving tomorrow. Yeah, I've got to go to LA," said DeVito, who is among the stars of "Weiner-Dog," which premiered Friday night. "I'm going west and I'll get to LA and wait for the snow to become slush and then I'll go to New York because I like it better when it's really ick and you slosh through. Otherwise why buy boots?"

--By Kay Angrum

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DANIEL RADCLIFFE AND HIS 'SWISS ARMY MAN' CO-STARS BUNK TOGETHER

The cast and crew of the movie "Swiss Army Man" are so tight, they wanted to stay together while at the Sundance Film Festival.

"That to me is like the defining thing about this (film)," Radcliffe said Friday at the film's premiere. "I really don't think there is another film I've ever made where I've been like, 'Yeah, let's all stay in a house together for like five days.'"

The film's co-director, Dan Kwan, described the group housing situation as "like heaven."

"A premiere? Whatever. Dinner with my friends in a big house in a big house it's like the dream," Kwan said.

The cast may be marveling over their love fest but the movie is getting buzz as well. It stars Paul Dano as a man stranded on a deserted island who discovers a dead man's body that washes up on shore, played by Daniel Radcliffe. The two set out on an adventure to help Dano's character get home.

Radcliffe says playing dead is not easy.

"How can I look dead and look slightly embarrassed at the same time or, you know, what does that look like?' So there was a lot of that to be worked out but 90 percent of that came from being in the room with Paul (Dano) and the (directors)," he said.

"We had a good time," recalled Dano. "When you see it, we get to do some fun stuff, we get to do some silly stuff and, yeah. I spent like five weeks carrying Dan around."

"And that's the thing," added Radcliffe. "I feel like there will be a lot of shots in the movie where people are like, 'Oh, that's obviously a dummy because Paul Dano wouldn't have schlepped him around like that but he did."

--By Alicia Rancilio