By eug | eugonline June 28, 2007 at 7:37AM
What's the point of debuting big budget Hollywood movies at urban film festivals like Tribeca and now the L.A. Film Festival, especially when the gala comes off as an opportunistic marketing event. Many people have wondered what a film like the high-profile "Transformers" was doing screening at Film Independent's Los Angeles Film Festival tonight. Its a legitimate question. I actually had no interest in watching the movie, but as a festival guest and journalist, I asked Film Independent about attending the gala party that festival organizers have been boasting about all week and was told flatly by a FIND rep, "You will need to contact [NAME] at Paramount. It is their event."
Echoes of the recent Tribeca Film Festival...In that case, I accepted an invitation to attend the "Spiderman 3" premiere, only to be told by a studio publicist outside the after-party that even though festival guests had been invited to the party, the list changed at that last moment. After turning away numerous invited guests, she eventually relented and let a few of us in, but noticing the festival accreditation around by neck, she added, "...but you can take off that badge because it doesn't mean anything here, this isn't the Tribeca Film Festival."
Sitting in my hotel watching the local KABC coverage of the "Transformers" event tonight, I expected to see FIND get some attention, perhaps justifying the film screening at the festival. But, no such luck, the entertainment reporter interviewed the big stars and touted the film's L.A. premiere, without once mentioning Film Independent. I guess tonight's "Transformers" premiere really was just a studio event...