Las Vegas Sun

September 18, 2019

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Small talk dominates as CineVegas gets under way

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If You Go

  • What: CineVegas
  • When: Today through Monday
  • Where: Palms and Brenden Theatres
  • Admission: $10 individual film tickets, $40 day pass (three films plus at least one party entry), $150 locals pass (16 films plus parties), other passes and packages $100-$500; 888-883-4278,

CineVegas Lineup

Richard Vallejos as Richard in Etienne, which will have its world premiere at the 2009 CineVegas in the Palms. Launch slideshow »

The first night of CineVegas is like a high school reunion. There are familiar faces and not so familiar ones, a lot of introductions and re-introductions and many rounds of catch up small talk as people jostle for position at the bar, getting friendlier with each glass of Stella Artois.

Oh yea, there’s a movie, too.

The 11th annual CineVegas Film Festival kicked off Wednesday night at Planet Hollywood with the world premier of Hue Rhodes’ debut film "Saint John of Las Vegas," starring Steve Buscemi, Sarah Silverman, Romany Malco and Peter Dinklage.

The film, which chronicles insurance adjuster and gambling addict John’s (Buscemi) return to Las Vegas after a long absence, received a warm welcome, despite a few factual snafus in the depiction of its titular city.

When director and cast had finished answering questions – Buscemi was described as “warm” and “encouraging;” references to Dante were explained – most of the theater retired to Prive for the opening night party.

Inside the spacious club under the dim lights and the muffled thunder of bass, filmmakers, ticket holders, invited guests and members of the press congregated and mingled, comparing line-ups for the six-day festival and grappling over which movies to see and parties to attend.

Like a high school reunion, vital stats were exchanged and cell phones updated, but CineVegas has one major difference: When the hangover kicks in, the festival is just getting started.

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