“Thank you for lighting a fire under my ass,” Kristen Stewart told Sundance’s Opening Night gala tonight.
“Sundance is the f*cking sh*t!” she added taking the stage to receive the Visionary Award from her co-star of 3 films, Jesse Eisenberg. The honor for is for their work as an uncompromising artist in indie film, who also has a long history with the Park City fest.
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Stewart is doing double duty here at the festival, starring in the Sam and Andy Zuchero acquistion title, Love Me, and A24’s Rose Glass directed genre title Love Lies Bleeding.
Eisenberg spoke about how he was struck by the emotion she brought to what was a brief driving scene in which he had one line, and she was all face on the set of Greg Mottola’s Adventureland. Eisenberg and Stewart also starred in Woody Allen’s Cafe Society and the action movie American Ultra. Or as Eisenberg called it “two talkies and an action film”.
“She’s so committed, you want to make sure that she’s ok at the end of the day,” Eisenberg said.
At the mic, Stewart said, “Twenty years ago. I could barely speak English when I was spoken to. I got my first pair of ugg boots. This was a place full of ‘Yes’ in a world full of ‘No’,” she praised Sundance.
Extolling the ehtos of Sundance even more, Stewart added, “It’s trope-y to go on how hard it is to make a movie, but everyone here feels that. Not everyone in the world does.”
Talking about how great art arrives here at the fest, Stewart exclaimed, “It’s because someone crazy forced it! It must happen! And I will not take ‘No’ for answer!”
A patriotic, indie proclamation which drew great applause from the benefactors and industry guests in the room.
Others being lauded tonight include Pat Mitchell with the Vanguard Award for Philanthropy, presented by Mary Robinson, the first woman President of Ireland and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Academy Award-winner Jodie Foster presented present documentary filmmaker Maite Alberdi (The Eternal Memory) with the Vanguard Award presented by Acura – Nonfiction. Alberdi was honored for her work highlighting the art of storytelling and creative independence in nonfiction.
Also Past Lives producer Christine Vachon presented writer and director Celine Song (Past Lives) with the Vanguard Award presented by Acura – Fiction.
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