Emile Hirsch has pleaded guilty to assaulting film executive Daniele Bernfeld during the Sundance Film Festival in Utah in January.
He was given a 15-day jail term and 50 hours of community service as part of a plea deal agreed with the prosecutors. He was also fined $4,750.
Daniele Bernfeld, an executive for Insurge Pictures, told police Emile Hirsch grabbed her in a chokehold at a nightclub in Park City.
The plea deal agreed on August 17 means Emile Hirsch managed to avoid the maximum jail sentence of five years. He was told the charges would be dropped from his record if he completed his sentence.
He was struggling to balance after having three or four drinks at the time of the assault, according to public court documents seen by the Associated Press.
However, county attorney Robert Hilder said on Monday the actor had been sober since the incident on January 25 and showed remorse on a number of occasions.
Daniele Bernfeld, for her part, said the plea deal did not go far enough, saying the attack had caused her long-term damage. In a statement read out in court, she said she thought she “was going to die” when Emile Hirsch was choking her.
She said he grabbed her from behind, put her in a chokehold, pulled her across the table and landed on top of her on the floor, putting his hands around her throat.
Emile Hirsch is best known for his work with Sean Penn.
He took the lead role in Sean Penn’s 2007 film Into the Wild and starred alongside him in Milk.
Emile Hirsch was at Sundance for the premiere of the drama Ten Thousand Saints.
Emile Hirsch has been charged with aggravated assault after allegedly choking a female film executive at last month’s Sundance Film Festival.
The actor, who is best known for his roles in Into the Wild and Milk, faces up to five years in jail if convicted.
According to court papers, Emile Hirsch assaulted the woman at a nightclub in Park City, Utah, in the early hours of January 25.
Prosecutors named the woman as Daniele Bernfeld, an executive for Insurge Pictures, part of Paramount Pictures.
Police were called to the club after Daniele Bernfeld reported being assaulted.
Daniele Bernfeld told police that Emile Hirsch approached her and asked her why she looked “so tough”, according to charging documents.
He also told the executive she was a “rich kid who should not be at Sundance”, the documents said.
Emile Hirsch is alleged to have initially grabbed Daniele Bernfeld before she pushed him away. The actor was then said to have grabbed her from behind.
The charging documents said Emile Hirsch put her in a chokehold, pulled her across the table and landed on top of her on the floor, putting his hands around her throat.
The alleged victim said she felt as though “the front and back of her throat were touching”, adding that she may have temporarily blacked out.
Two bystanders apparently pulled Emile Hirsch away. A witness has backed up Daniele Bernfeld’s version of events, according to court documents.
Emile Hirsch told police he did not know the woman but was having an argument with her. He said he had had three or four drinks, and a police officer told prosecutors his balance was impaired and his speech slurred.
The actor has also been charged with a misdemeanor count of intoxication.
The star is due to appear in court on March 16.
Emile Hirsch is best known for his work with Sean Penn. He took the lead role in Sean Penn’s 2007 film Into the Wild and starred alongside him in Milk.
He also played the leading man in Ang Lee’s Taking Woodstock in 2009.
Emile Hirsch was at Sundance for the premiere of the drama Ten Thousand Saints, in which he appears alongside Ethan Hawke and Asa Butterfield.
Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash has won the grand jury prize and the audience award at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.
The opening night film, about an obsessive jazz drummer, has now been bought by Sony Picture Classics, which will bring it to a wider audience.
Rich Hill, about a group of teenagers living in a deprived area of rural America, won the documentary prize.
Sundance is the US’s leading indie film festival, backed by Robert Redford’s institute of the same name.
Whiplash‘s writer and director, Damien Chazelle, won the US fiction short film grand jury prize last year at Sundance for his original short version of Whiplash.
Damien Chazelle, 28, then expanded his short to make it into a feature film for this year’s festival.
Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash has won the grand jury prize and the audience award at the Sundance Film Festival 2014
“I remember my first time here was with a short, and the whole reason we made a short was because of my experiences as a drummer,” Damien Chazelle said.
“No-one wanted to finance the film because no-one wants to make a film about a jazz drummer – surprising,” he jokily added.
Rich Hill co-director Tracy Droz Tragos dedicated the win to the film’s subjects.
The documentary audience award went to Alive Inside: A Story of Music & Memory, which explores the effect of music on elderly patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
The annual film festival, now in its 30th year, opened on January 16 in Park City, and will close on Sunday.
Other awards given out on Saturday included the short film audience prize, sponsored by YouTube and based on the number of online hits each entry had. This year’s prize went to Chapel Perilous, a comedy about a man who is visited by a salesman with nothing to sell.
Matt Sandusky, the son of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, took part in Happy Valley documentary about his father’s abuse case that explores whether his actions were an open secret.
Matt Sandusky tells the Centre Daily Times that he took part in Happy Valley to advocate for child abuse survivors.
Matt Sandusky took part in Happy Valley documentary about Jerry Sandusky’s abuse case
The 100-minute film is being screened this week at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah. It explores whether it was an open secret that Jerry Sandusky was molesting boys.
Matt Sandusky was expected to be a defense witness at Jerry Sandusky’s trial but instead came forward to say that he had been abused by his adoptive father.
Jerry Sandusky is appealing his conviction and 30- to 60-year prison term.
The Sundance Film Festival has revealed the lineups of its 30th edition in 2014.
More than 100 independent feature films will premiere at the event next month in Utah, along with 11 documentaries.
Films on offer include coming-of-age drama Laggies starring Keira Knightley and Sam Rockwell.
Comedy Frank, about a wannabe musician, stars Michael Fassbender alongside Maggie Gyllenhall.
Another big hitter – A Most Wanted Man – is directed by Anton Corbijn and stars Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rachel McAdams, Willem Dafoe and Robin Wright.
It is based on the John le Carre bestseller of the same name.
More than 100 independent feature films will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival next month in Utah
The Trip to Italy, directed by Michael Winterbottom and starring Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, reunites the comedy pair after their six-episode BBC mini-series The Trip.
It followed the duo – who spent a significant amount of the time bickering – as they travelled around England reviewing restaurants for a national newspaper.
Next year marks the 30th anniversary of the Sundance Film Festival and the second consecutive year that submissions have exceeded 12,000 films.
Documentaries premiering at Sundance include To Be Takai, about Star Trek actor and activist George Takei, who journeyed from a World War II internment camp to the helm of the Starship Enterprise.
Life Itself recounts the surprising and entertaining life of renowned film critic and social commentator Roger Ebert, while WHITEY: United States of America v. James J Bulger, looks at the relationship between the infamous gangster James “Whitey” Bulger and the FBI and Department of Justice.
The closing night film is Rudderless. Directed by William H Macy, it tells the story of a grieving father who stumbles upon a box of his deceased son’s original music before forming a rock ‘n’ roll band that changes his life.
The cast includes Billy Crudup, Anton Yelchin, Felicity Huffman, Selena Gomez, Laurence Fishburne and Macy.
The 2014 festival takes place between 16 and 26 January in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance, Utah.
David and Jackie Siegel were just trying to live the American Dream: succeed at business, own a big house, enjoy the spoils of their labor.
But after achieving those dreams, they found themselves wanting more – much, much more.
David and Jackie Siegel’s 26,000-square-foot house was simply not enough. Happiness could be found, the couple thought, only by building the largest house in all of America: a sprawling, 90,000-square-foot mansion in Orlando, Florida, modeled after the French palace of Versailles, complete with a bowling alley and roller-skating rink, a wing for the children, 10 kitchens, and $5 million of marble.
But when the U.S. economic bubble burst, the Siegels, who were so wealthy they seemed untouchable, turned out to be no different from the tens of thousands of families who lost their far-humbler dream homes. And film director Lauren Greenfield was there to capture their financial downfall, from Jackie Siegel’s $1-million clothing-budget zenith to the family’s stuck-in-coach-class nadir.
The drama of Lauren Greenfield’s recent documentary, The Queen of Versailles, first gripped audiences at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival in January. Screened on the opening night, the film won her an award for best director and has since become one of the most-watched documentaries of the year, prompting speculation that it could earn an Oscar nomination.
“It was the same [old] story about the American dream, but really about the flaws as much as the virtues of that dream, as well as about the mistakes that were made because of the economic crisis,” Lauren Greenfield said.
“Jackie and David’s story, even though it was extreme, was kind of symbolic of the mistakes we all made on different levels.”
In one scene, a nanny asks Jackie Siegel – a former beauty queen from a small town, who’s 30 years David Siegel’s junior – if one large, cavernous room in Versailles is a future bedroom.
“No, that’s my closet!” Jackie Siegel exclaims, her eyes wide, grinning as if she almost can’t believe her good fortune. Later in the film, after the family arrives in an airport after having flown coach (a first for the children), Jackie Siegel walks up to a rental-car counter and asks the clerk earnestly: “What is my driver’s name?”
David and Jackie Siegel
Lauren Greenfield became interested in the lives of the 1 percenters as an undergraduate, where she studied photography under Barbara Norfleet, Ph.D., then a lecturer and curator of still photography at the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, who had produced a book called All the Right People, about the WASPs of the Northeast. “Part of what drove her [Barbara Norfleet] to make that book was that in the archives there were very few photos of rich people,” Lauren Greenfield said.
“The photos that existed…were only commissioned portraits by the subjects themselves, or society pictures which didn’t have any context because they weren’t natural moments. For me, when I started the Queen of Versailles, it was a little bit similar. We see so much of the life of the affluent as these packaged, manipulated reality-TV shows, or advertising. I wanted to do a real-life look at this family, particularly because Jackie and David had this other quality – a down-to-earth American quality. They came from humble origins and were a rags-to-riches story.”
Lauren Greenfield met Jackie Siegel by chance at a Hollywood party and immediately fell for the couple’s tale. (The filmmaker had asked if she could photograph Jackie Siegel’s ostentatious metallic purse; the image eventually became one of Time magazine’s “Photos of the Year,” illustrating the “high life” and “gilded age” of America). But that was in 2007, when David Siegel’s company – the largest privately owned time-share company in the world – had netted him a billion dollars.
When Lauren Greenfield began filming in 2009, she didn’t expect her little movie (she and her husband, Frank Evers, financed the film, calling it “a labor of love”) about the biggest McMansion ever built would even be seen in theaters. But as the Siegels’ fortunes plummeted unexpectedly before her camera’s lens, Lauren Greenfield knew her film would have a far wider appeal.
Lauren Greenfield – a photographer and filmmaker who has captured youth culture through projects like HBO’s THIN, a documentary about an eating disorder center in Coconut Creek, Florida, and has had her photographs published in The New York Times, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, and National Geographic – got to know her subjects intimately, practically moving in with them as she filmed up to 12 hours a day. She and Jackie became friends. But Lauren Greenfield admits she was appalled by their inability to control their spending, even when everything pointed to impending disaster. The tipping point was David’s refusal to sell his other obsession, a $600-million, high-end time-share complex on the Las Vegas strip that he’d personally financed through loans. By 2010, the time-share market had dried up because so many buyers had overextended themselves on their unit mortgages.
“I wasn’t rooting for David to keep the tower, because I think it was a valuable lesson learned, in terms of the overreach,” she says.
“I think that’s the power [of the movie]. David speaks the morality tale at the end when he says, ‘We need to learn to live within our means, we need to get back to reality. I was using cheap money to buy big buildings and I thought it would go on forever, and when they took away the money I was like, <<Whoa>>.
“In that sense there is a happy ending, because you see what’s really important to them,” Lauren Greenfield continues.
“For us as viewers, it gives us a chance to think about what’s important, what our values are, and what is enough.”
Although David Siegel is now suing Lauren Greenfield for defamation (Greenfield insists the lawsuit is more about money than ill will: at a recent premiere of the film in Tampa, David and Jackie Siegel rented out two theaters and showed up in a party bus to watch the movie with all of their friends), she still says she wouldn’t have changed anything.
“I was extremely lucky because they opened their doors wide when things were great, but they kept those doors open equally wide when things got tough,” she explains. “Jackie would often say, <<Our story is like so many other people’s, but on a bigger level and with bigger proportions>>.”
Fruitvale drama and Blood Brother documentary won over audiences and 2013 Sundance Film Festival judges.
Both American films won audience awards and grand jury prizes Saturday at the Sundance Awards.
Fruitvale tells the true story of Oscar Grant, who was 22 years old when he was shot and killed in a public transit station in Oakland, California. Twenty-six-year-old first-time filmmaker Ryan Coogler wrote and directed the dramatic narrative.
The dramatic film is named after the San Francisco Bay-area neighborhood where the action takes place in the early hours of New Year’s Day 2009.
Video footage of the shooting taken on phone cameras spread online, and the killing triggered protests in Oakland the next day, some of which turned violent.
The film’s co-stars include Octavia Spencer, who won best supporting actress Oscar last year for her role in civil rights drama The Help.
Blood Brother follows a young American, Rocky, who moved to India to work with orphans infected with HIV.
The Cambodian film A River Changes Course won the grand jury prize for international documentary, and a narrative film from South Korea, Jiseul, claimed the grand jury prize for dramatic world cinema.
Founded by Robert Redford, the annual festival in Park City aims to nurture independent filmmakers who might otherwise be eclipsed by output from the major studios – while Hollywood uses it to scout new up-and-coming talent.
This year’s festival has presented 119 feature films from 32 countries, including 51 first-timers and more than 100 world premieres.
One of the most highly-anticipated movies was jOBS, starring Ashton Kutcher as the late Apple founder and computer icon Steve Jobs.
While the film was well received, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak noted that the “personalities are very wrong,” but added: “The movie should be very popular and I hope it’s entertaining.”
Fruitvale, directed by Ryan Coogler, has won Grand Jury Prize for a US drama at 2013 Sundance Film Festival
Sundance Film Festival 2013 Winners:
Grand Jury Prize for a US drama: Fruitvale by Ryan Coogler.
Grand Jury Prize for a US documentary:Blood Brother by Steve Hoover.
Grand Jury Prize for a foreign drama:Jiseul by Muel O (South Korea).
Grand Jury Prize for a foreign documentary: A River Changes Course by Kalyanee Mam (Cambodia).
Special Jury Prizes for a US drama:The Spectacular Now (acting) and Upstream Color (sound design).
Special Jury Prizes for a US documentary: Inequality for All and American Promise.
Special Jury Prize for a foreign drama:Circles by Srdan Golubovic (Serbia).
Special Jury Prize for a foreign documentary: Pussy Riot: a Punk Prayer. (Anglo-Russian).
The Steve Jobs biopic jOBS had its debut at Eccles Center Theatre during the 2013 Sundance Film Festival on January 25, 2013, in Park City, Utah.
jOBS is directed by Joshua Michael Stern and stars Ashton Kutcher, Dermot Mulroney and James Woods.
The film presents the story of Steve Jobs’ (Ashton Kutcher) ascension from college dropout into one of the most revered creative entrepreneurs of the 20th century and it focuses on the early years of Apple was made without any involvement from the mega computer company.
This is the debut of jOBS. The film will be released into theaters in Friday, April 19 and will be released into theaters throughout the world up until the end of October.
jOBS is not yet rated and has a run-time of 2 hours and 2 minutes.
The Steve Jobs biopic jOBS had its debut at Eccles Center Theatre during the 2013 Sundance Film Festival on January 25, 2013, in Park City
Sundance Film Festival 2012 took place from Thursday, January 19 to Sunday, January 29 in Park City, Utah.
The 28th edition of the festival presented about 118 independent films from 30 countries, including 45 first-timers (24 in competition) and 91 world premieres. Featured in four different competition categories were 58 individual films.
Parker Posey was the host of the closing awards ceremony.
“Every year the Sundance Film Festival brings to light exciting new direction and fresh voices in independent film, and this year is no different. While these awards further distinguish those that have had the most impact on audiences and our jury, the level of talent showcased across the board at the Festival was really impressive, and all are to be congratulated and thanked for sharing their work with us,” said John Cooper, Sundance Film Festival director.
The film also received a prize for excellence in cinematography, US dramatic.
Beasts of the Southern Wild tells the story of two persons (a father and his daughter) who are trying to deal with the effects of global warming. Hushpuppy is 6 years old and lives in the vicinity of the Mississippi delta with her father. The film is directed Benh Zeitlin, 29, first-time filmmaker and features a cast of non-actors. Quvenzhane Wallis (Hushpuppy), 8, who was 6 when she started to shot the movie, is for Benh Zeitlin “the biggest person” he knows.
The movie is described by Damon Wise (The Guardian) as “the first significant eco-threat movie to be seen through the eyes of the generation that has inherited global warming.”
“I hope with this movie there is a flag that goes up to allow directors to explore the world,” said Benh Zeitlin.
Beasts of the Southern Wild won Grand jury prize for drama at the Sundance Film Festival 2012.
The Surrogate won drama audience award and best ensemble at Sundance Film Festival 2012.
The film is based on the autobiographical writings of Mark O’Brien, journalist and poet and presents a man, 38, half paralyzed from poliomyelitis (John Hawkes) who wants to have a relation with his therapist (Oscar-winning Helen Hunt).
John Hawkes has health problems because his spine’s curvature was affected. He said he needed a help of a chiropractor to diminish the damages he caused to his back.
“I’ve been doing yoga for like 25 years, but my spine doesn’t have enough movement in one direction and the opposite direction has way too much movement. (My chiropractor) doesn’t know how to fix it other than I might wear a brace for a while,” he said.
Fox Searchlight bought Beasts of the Southern Wild and The Surrogate and the films are expected to be launched in the US theaters this year.
The House I Live In documentary won Grand jury prize at Sundance Film Festival 2012.
The documentary exposes the failure of US war against drugs. Film director, Eugene Jarecki, said the authorities’ effort to stop the drug trade was “tragically immoral and so heartbreakingly wrong and misguided“. That war was “a terrible scar on America,” said Eugene Jarecki, because of unfair drug penalties affecting minorities.
The Invisible War by Kirby Dick won documentary audience award.
Both documentaries are the mirrors of the “dark and grim” times, as characterized by Robert Redford, the founder of the Sundance Film Festival.
Sundance Film Festival 2012 Full List of Winners
Grand jury prize, documentary: The House I Live In
Grand jury prize, drama: Beasts of the Southern Wild
US directing award: The Queen of Versailles, Lauren Greenfield
US directing award: Middle of Nowhere, Ava Duvernay
Waldo Salt screenwriting award: Safety Not Guaranteed, Colin Trevorrow
Audience award, US documentary: The Invisible War
Audience award, US dramatic: The Surrogate
Special jury prizes, US documentary: Love Free or Die and Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry
US dramatic special jury prize for producing: Jonathan Schwartz and Andrea Sperling, Smashed and Nobody Walks
US dramatic special jury prize for Ensemble Acting: The Surrogate
Shorts audience award: The Debutante Hunters
Excellence in cinematography, US documentary: Chasing Ice
Excellence in cinematography, US dramatic: Beasts of the Southern Wild
US documentary editing award: Detropia
Best of next award: Sleepwalk With Me
Alfred P Sloan feature film prize: Robot and Frank and Valley of Saints
World cinema jury special prize, Documentary: Searching for Sugar Man
World cinema documentary editing: Indie Game: The Movie, Lisanne Pajot and James Swirsky
World cinema jury prize,documentary: The Law in These Parts, Ra’anan Alexandrowicz, director
World cinema dramatic special jury prize: Can, Rasit Celikezer, director
World cinema cinematography award, drama: David Raedeker, My Brother the Devil
World cinema cinematography award, documentary: Lars Skree, Putin’s Kiss
World cinema directing award, documentary: Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi, 5 Broken Cameras
Shorts audience award: The Debutante Hunters, Maria White, director
World cinema audience award: Searching for Sugar Man
Sundance Film Festival has begun in Salt Lake City in 1978 as an effort to attract independent filmmakers.
Sundance Film Festival 2012 started on Thursday night, January 19, in Park City ski resort, Utah. It will run until January 29, and it will have shows in Park City, Salt Lake City, and Ogden.
This 28th edition will introduce 117 feature films from 30 countries, including 45 first-timers (24 in competition) and 91 world premieres. Featured in four different competition categories are 58 individual films.
The snow fell over the city when the festival started and made Mayor Dana Williams to mention a last year bill that officially disavowed the idea of climate change. Since then it has not snowed in Park City until this week.
Sundance Film Festival 2012 is taking place from January 19 until January 29.
On Thursday, the opening press conference of the Sundance Film Festival was held at the David Eccles Conference Center and Peery’s Egyptian Theater.
Robert Redford, wearing jeans and a black sweater, said about the films they were products of “dark and grim” times and the “suffering from a government that’s in paralysis.” However, “they’re breathing life into fresh, new stories.”
“In terms of what’s going on there… in terms of Mitt Romney, I mean, I’m not going to get into politics. The fact is you can see the (Republican) debates going on, this mushroom cloud of ego hovering over everybody... It’s kind of silly and stupid and I’m sorry about it… Mitt Romney can go and see what he wants to see. If he likes ‘Transformers,’ great, it’s there for him, but that’s not where we are… For years and years and years, you’ve all experienced what we had to live with, the fact that other countries are far more supportive of their artists than we are… But when you have congressional narrow-minded people, people who are afraid of change when change is the only thing that succeeds, the only thing we know is going to happen is that things are going to change,” Redford said.
Robert Redford at the Sundance Film Festival 2012 in the press conference held at the Egyptian Theater. (Photo by Calvin Knight)
Robert Redford then talked about the state of independent film.
“It’s true that independent films now are healthy. That doesn’t mean that it’s easy. It’s never been easy…What I’m seeing now is that… independent film is growing. You have people who used to work more exclusively in the mainstream that are now coming into the independent world…The reason I think this community is growing, I think, is because it’s offering more possibilities and more freedom and control for the artists themselves,” he said.
Robert Redford, 75, is the founder and the president of the Sundance Institute, that was created to promote the production of independent US and non-American cinema. He played with Paul Newman in “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” (1969).
“Independent film is the theme,” said festival director John Cooper.
One of the opening-night films was “The Queen of Versailles” by Lauren Greenfield, a chronicle of a couple that tried to build a palatial 90,000-square-foot mansion inspired by Versailles, “a movie about dreams, both collective and individual, and what happens when things go wrong,” as Greenfield described it. David Siegel and his wife, Jackie, lived a life of incredible luxury even before they decided to build the biggest single-family house in the United States. Siegel sued Greenfield and Sundance over a press-release description that said his house was foreclosed; the suit is ongoing.
“Hello I Must Be Going,” by Todd Louiso is about a love story between a 19-year-old man and a 35-year-old divorcee, and stars Melanie Lynskey. “Wish You Were Here,” by Kieran Darcy-Smith is a dark story of a vacation gone wrong that stars Joel Edgerton and Teresa Palmer; “Searching for Sugar Man,” by Malik Bendjelloul’s is a documentary about promising 1970s singer-songwriter Rodriguez and his fade into obscurity.
“All the film press in North America is at Sundance to discover films,” said Michael Barker, co-president of Sony Pictures Classics. He is showing “Where Do We Go Now?” by Nadine Labaki and “The Raid” by Gareth Huw Evans at the festival.
Others works at the festival are “Red Hook Summer” by Spike Lee; “Lay the Favorite” by Stephen Frears starring Bruce Willis, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Rebecca Hall; “Under African Skies” by Joe Berlinger, a documentary on Paul Simon portrait; Julie Delpy with her relationship comedy “2 Days in New York,” in which she stars with Chris Rock.
The Sundance Film Festival has put nine of its short films online. They can be watched at www.sundance.yahoo.com. The films can be voted, and the winner will receive the Yahoo! Audience Award.
Sean Penn, Kate Bosworth, Peter Jackson, Bradley Cooper, Bruce Willis, Dennis Quaid, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Sigourney Weaver, Richard Gere will be present this year at the Sundance Film Festival.