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Party Time '08: Bennifer II, Films and Parties

DENVER -- Three of the most popular chicks at the convention this week are the co-founders of the Impact Film Festival. Kimball Stroud, Jody Arlington and Jamie Shor screened documentaries by day in a tent outside the Pepsi Center and by night held hot parties.

Last night, together with the Screen Actors Guild, they brought Washington and Hollywood together in Denver at what was billed as an "intimate buffet dinner" but really wound up being an exclusive celebrity-packed party with loads of food, as well as free-flowing booze. (The party was a more low-key alternative to the ONE Campaign/Recording Industry Association of America concert featuring hip-hop king Kanye West.)

Ben Affleck and his pregnant wife, Jennifer Garner, were among the many Hollywood stars who attended. We overheard the always bubbly Stroud, in her thick Arkansas accent, say to Garner, "There was such a cute shot of you with Jessica Alba today at the convention." Garner, suffering from pregnancy munchies syndrome, replied, "Oh God, was I eating?"

Affleck and Garner -- or Bennifer II as they're known in the tabloids -- didn't mingle with the regular-people partygoers. They hung out in a highly fortified section of the party surrounded by security hired by the restaurant/club 5 Degrees, where the party was held.

Other celebrities we saw: Danny Glover, Forest Whitaker, Kirsten Dunst, Star Jones, Seth Myers, Annette Benning, Taye Diggs and other wannabe movie stars.

We chatted with Dan Glickman, chairman of the Motion Picture Association of America, and his wife, Rhoda Glickman, who were effusively gushing over vice presidential nominee Joe Biden's performance on stage last night.

The party also drew several folks from Barack Obama's finance team, including Julius Genachowski, a Harvard Law School classmate of Obama. Genachowski and his wife, Rachel Goslins, co-hosted the party.

Impact Film Festival co-founder Arlington says, "Someone said to us, 'It's the opposite of Sundance, the parties are easier to get into than the films.'" Indeed, she said, the entire convention has "been like Sundance in a way, only the stars are politicos and the bouncers are Secret Service."

To be fair to Bennifer II, Sleuth informants say Affleck and Garner couldn't have been more gracious later in the night at the RIAA/ONE Campaign bash.

They talked to anyone who came up to them and took photos with fans for more than an hour. Security, if there was any, was inconspicuous and didn't stop the cell phone and camera wielding crowd.

By Mary Ann Akers  |  August 28, 2008; 3:41 PM ET
Categories:  Party Time '08  
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