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Archive for February, 2011

A weekend with Franco and Stone

Posted on: February 23rd, 2011 by lisabell 3 Comments

I am part of the core staff of the Boulder International Film Festival, which just wrapped up on Sunday. As the Filmmaker Liaison Coordinator it’s my job to find and coordinate volunteers who will pick up and take care of all of the filmmakers who come to town for the festival. We have a great team of liaisons who take them back and forth to the airport and make sure all of their needs are met during the festival.

My other role, along with my husband Steve, is to help transport and take care of the celebrities who visit the festival. This year it was James Franco and Oliver Stone.

The best way I can describe James is “overwhelmed.” The young star (32) is getting a PhD in English Studies at Yale,  just finished a book, has a multi-media art exhibit opening in June in Venice, is on General Hospital, is nominated for Best Actor for his role as Boulder’s own Aron Ralston in “127 Hours” and is hosting the Academy Awards this coming Sunday! And I thought I was oversubscribed! His manager told me James has a true photographic memory. He can read through a script once and have his lines down cold for the next scene. That would explain in part his super human skills but still thats all got to wear a guy out!

So it was no real surprise to me that he seemed a bit tired during his interview on Saturday night. Aron Ralston’s introduction was fabulous and I enjoyed meeting him every bit as much as the star who played him in the movie. If you haven’t seen “127 Hours,” by all means go see it! Though the pinnacle of the movie is him cutting off his arm, it’s only 90 seconds of the whole two hours and is so well done that I only had to look away once! It’s a very spiritually powerful movie and an amazing story of courage and determination.

Oliver Stone was super lively during his interview and in person as well. He is so hyper intelligent that I really believe his brain is wired differently than most. Steve and I enjoyed his “testing” conversations with us and he was simply delightful to be around. Here is a photo of us at the end of the festival on Sunday before the rest of the crowd rolled into the bar.


Taking care of the celebrities is exciting but amazingly stressful at the same time. From making sure security is in place to seeing that they have every single need taken care of, it’s a lot of work. Overall it’s a great gig but we certainly didn’t get to see much of the festival from the front of the house.

Some of the other highlights of the weekend for me included opening night and watching “Troubadors” about the famous bar of the same name in LA that launched just about every musical career in the 70s; watching my son Brendan have a great time volunteering at the festival for the first time as part of the Youth Advisory Council; watching the movie “Freedom Riders” with our boys and meeting the amazing Representative John Lewis; watching my stepdaughter Kaity blossom as a reporter as she interviewed and photographed just about every filmmaker in town for the festival blog, (including an exclusive interview with Oliver Stone); and watching the crazy Karaoke show at Sushi Zanmai with Franco’s manager on Saturday night-if you’ve never gone you should! As I told his manager, “It’s so bad it’s hip!”

An eventful weekend to be sure! Come talk to me at a show and I’ll tell you more about my role at BIFF and how you can be involved in the festival next year!