Under the soft, dim lighting of Teatro Goldoni‘s charming Italian restaurant, Washington policymakers, politicians and film aficionados welcomed one of the most renowned, powerful, and controversial directors in Hollywood, Academy Award winner Oliver Stone for an exclusive WL reception hosted as part of the Silverdocs film festival.
By Liz Weiss
The trendy, relaxed atmosphere of Teatro Goldoni, an authentic Italian restaurant nestled on K Street, provided the perfect setting for Washingtonians to escape the withering heat with refreshing cocktails as they celebrated the featured guest of the evening. The exclusive event was hosted by Washington Life and one of the highlights of the six-day AFI/Discovery Channel SILVERDOCS Documentary Film Festival.
Oliver Stone casually strolled into Teatro trailed by an entourage of publicists, producers, writers and directors of his new documentary, “South of the Border.” He was greeted by Michael Kosmides, owner of the restaurant. Mr. Stone was accompanied by the film’s producer, Fernando Sulichin, as well as co-writers Tariq Ali and Mark Weisbrot. He was introduced to the 300 or so attendees by Washington Life’s Associate Publisher John H. Arundel, who organized the event, and by David Corn, the Washington Bureau Chief of Mother Jones magazine and a contributor to Politics Daily.
Mr. Stone kept the conversation lively with a vast spectrum of DC’s policy and media crowd, from Carlos Cegali, Brazil’s deputy chief of Mission, to Bill Plante, CBS News’ Chief White House Correspondent. Also attending were Jay Adams, Chairman of Bowman Distilleries; Steve Connors, director and producer of the critically-acclaimed “Meeting Resistance” documentary; ABC 7’s National Correspondent Rebecca Cooper and ABC 7’s Chief White House Correspondent Scott Thuman; Luiza Franco of the Council on Hemispheric Affairs; reporter Annie Gowen of The Washington Post; Jack Healey of the Human Rights Action Center; Rodolofo Pastor of the Embassy of Honduras; lawyer lobbyist Tommy Quinn; Deputy U.S. Assistant Trade Representative Christina Sevilla; Sarah Stephens of the Center for Democracy; Livia Suarez of the Venezuelan Embassy; Geoffrey Thale of the Washington Office on Latin America and Yelverton Watkins, Chief of Staff in the Office of the Majority Whip; Ethan Drath of Sherman Pickey, and Angie Goff of WUSA9Teatro Goldini and Washington Life for hosting this event in his honor. He also discussed his experience being back in the DC arena, which he regarded as a completely different scene from Los Angeles, filled with eager and hard-working citizens who fully embrace hope and passion. Mr. Stone also discussed his documentary South of the Border, which paints a unique portrait of South American social and political spheres and challenges the mainstream media’s conception of South American political leaders.
Although the film has been deemed controversial among its viewers and critics, the film will undoubtedly provoke further passionate discussion with its audience in DC and beyond.
Liz Weiss is a senior at The George Washington University. She is currently an intern at Washington Life Magazine.