Reel Moments

Tuesday, March 20th, 2007 | All Things, Film

In yet another foray into magazine brand extension (see: the Time Out New York lounge at New World Stages and Miss Seventeen on MTV) Cond√© Nast’s Glamour brought back “Reel Moments,” a series of short films directed by women celebrities of varying levels of fame. This year, Bryce Dallas Howard (“Orchids”), Carol Leifer (“Blinders”) and Jennifer Aniston (“Room 10”) stepped behind the camera to adapt the three winning stories selected from among the thousands submitted by the magazine’s readers based on their own real/reel-life moments. Last October, the shorts had their premiere in Los Angeles to kick off a 10-city screening tour. Proceeds benefit FilmAid International, an organization whose mission is “to use the power of film to promote health, strengthen communities, and enrich the lives of the world’s vulnerable and uprooted.” (Well… okay.)

The films — united by a “self-discovery” theme — are promoted by Glamour¬† as an exercise in female empowerment: written, directed and acted almost entirely by women, and produced by Francesca Silvestri, Head of Motion Picture and Television for Moxie Pictures. (All a bit ironic considering some of the beauty magazine’s content.) Previous Reel Moments participants have included Lauren Graham, Piper Perabo, Rosario Dawson, Kerry Washington, Debi Mazar, Trudie Styler, and Gwyneth Paltrow. This year’s films featured the donated acting talents of Robin Wright Penn and Jamie-Lynn Sigler.

Reel Moments

Two of 2006’s projects made the film festival circuit rounds: “Dealbreakers” — co-directed by Paltrow and Mary Wigmore — at Sundance, and at the Berlin Film Festival, “Gnome,” which was written and directed by “Sex and the City” Emmy-award winner, Jenny Bicks. Continuing the tradition, all three of this year’s short films were accepted into the Santa Barbara Film Festival, qualifying them for the 2008 Academy Award nominations.

Producer Silvestri, who answered audience questions after the screening, said she hoped that the projects would have the effect of opening even more doors for women in Hollywood. I’m a tad skeptical about just how closed off from opportunity this particular trio of women really are: Emmy-winner Aniston co-founded production company Plan B Entertainment with ex-husband Brad Pitt and Brad Grey; Howard is the daughter of 2-time Academy Award winning director and co-founder/co-chairman of Imagine Entertainment, Ron Howard. Only “Seinfeld” writer Leifer (the real Elaine Benes!) seems like she may have genuinely benefited from this opportunity created by Glamour magazine.

Aniston’s “Room 10” is available for viewing on sponsor Samsung Mobile’s website.

Afterwards, a syrah for me, a gin buck for M at the pet-friendly SoHo Grand. (Ah, that explains the dog statues in the lobby and the dog trough at the door.)

SoHo Grand Lobby

SoHo Grand

From the hotel’s FAQ:

We allow domesticated pets that are trained and well-behaved. If travelers cannot bring their pets, we offer a goldfish companion for the duration of their stay.

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