The evening has just kicked off at Cipriani’s in Wall Street following cocktails at the perhaps appropriately named Museum of Finance across the street. Terrence Howard opened with a performance on acoustic guitar, Michelle Byrd gave her opening remarks and intro’d Aasif Mandvi, the host. (Culinary note: Our table was split on the identity of the opening course, with most calling it an omelette, some calling it a pizza, and others just saying it was pasta.) Mandvi quipped that Jon Stewart was originally asked to host but that he outsourced the gig to him.
The first award is Filmmaker‘s award, the Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You Award for best undistributed film. The award goes to…. Nina Paley’s Sita Sings the Blues. Everyone at Filmmaker loved this idiosyncratic animated film and admired Paley’s tenacity in getting it made as well as her subsequent foray on her blog into the wilds of intellectual property discourse.