By Tressa Eckermann, Senior Staff Writer
On Nov. 20, Film Streams and the Slowdown will host a Waikiki Party celebrating the new film “The Descendants,” by Academy Award-winning director and Omaha native Alexander Payne.
The Hawaiian-themed party, to be catered by six different Omaha restaurants including the Boiler Room and Marks with free drinks, will be held before the first screening of the film at 7:30 p.m. and again before the second screening of the film at Film Streams.
The party will take place at the Slowdown, with Payne in attendance. There will also be a question and answer session with the filmmaker. All proceeds will go to Film Streams, of which Payne is a co-founder.
“The Descendants” is already gaining Oscar buzz for its writer and director, Payne, as well as its star George Clooney. Clooney stars as a land-baron, Matt King, who discovers that his wife was having an affair after she suffers a boating accident, forcing him to reconnect with his two daughters, Alexandra (Shailene Woodley) and Scottie (Amara Miller). The film also stars Judy Greer, Matthew Lillard and Beau Bridges.
Because Payne is the co-founder of Film Streams, he is ultimately responsible for the sustainability of the Film Streams organization, which often works off donations.
UNO student Marie Schellenberger thinks that the screening is a good idea and will appeal to other students.
“It’s a great opportunity, especially if you’re interested in film, directing, writing or even acting,” Schellenberger said. She also feels that it’s nice to be able to interact with someone like Payne who is so highly respected in the film world.
It’s been seven years since Payne’s last film, 2004’s “Sideways,” which won the director an Oscar for best original screenplay.
“He sees it as a big opportunity to help Film Streams,” said Rachel Jacobson, director and founder of Film Streams.
She believes this is a great way to “maximize the talents of a great American filmmaker.” Jacobson points out that this is also a celebration of his work. She says Film Streams is very grateful for Payne’s willingness to contribute his time and energy to promoting the theater. Jacobson is also grateful to the Slowdown, which is Film Streams’ neighbor and landlord.
“They were the obvious choice,” Jacobson said when planning the event.
Tickets for the first screening package have sold out, but are still available for the second screening package. Anyone interested in attending can visit the Film Streams website at www.filmstreams.org.