Film lovers salute director Gus Van Sant

A bevy of Hollywood stars walked the red carpet Thursday night, Sept. 27, at the Museum of Contemporary Art in La Jolla for the San Diego Film Festival’s tribute to filmmaker Gus Van Sant (“Milk,” “To Die For,” “My Own Private Idaho”). Rancho Santa Fe-based Mantooth Films executives Dale Strack, Tonya Mantooth and Patti Judd were among the driving forces behind the film festival.

Following a VIP cocktail reception on the museum’s oceanfront patio, attendees gathered in Sherwood Auditorium where San Diego Film Foundation board chairman Dale Strack, actress Diane Ladd (mother of Laura Dern) and Pennie Lane, the inspiration behind the Cameron Crowe film “Almost Famous,” praised Van Sant’s body of work.

The audience was then treated to a montage featuring clips from Van Sant’s film catalogue, followed by the premiere of a trailer for his upcoming film, “Promised Land” (Matt Damon, Frances McDormand) and a screening of his 1997 drama, “Good Will Hunting.”

Actors Robin Williams and Ben Affleck provided videotaped words of praise for Van Sant, and artist Erik Wahl painted the filmmaker’s portrait live, on stage.

The SDFF ran Sept. 26-30 with screenings split between La Jolla and The Gaslamp.

Photos by Pat Sherman

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