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Snow Bunnies

Some think the Sundance Film Festival is a chance to escape from the Hollywood rat race, but it only shifts to the Utah mountains for 10 days.

PARK CITY, Utah — Some naive souls may think the Sundance Film Festival is their chance to escape from the Hollywood rat race for a while, but it only ends up migrating into the snow-covered mountains of Utah for 10 days. Hotel banquet halls, schools and racquet clubs morph into screening rooms during the day, while local restaurants, bars and even ski lifts become venues for the A-listers and their wannabes at night. The schmoozing storm kicked off Thursday night with the arrival of Jennifer Aniston and the cast of Nicole Holofcener's "Friends With Money," which opened the film festival.

Aniston managed to be both in the limelight and low-key, keeping to herself and castmates Catherine Keener and Joan Cusack at the staid industry after party (held in a library) and speaking to reporters only at the press conference Friday. Other stars slowly began to trickle in that day, but for a few hours, the paparazzi seemed doomed to focusing on the ubiquitous faces of early bird Robert Downey Jr., rockers Good Charlotte and "Dawson's Creek" alum James Van Der Beek. Lucy Liu arrived not a moment too soon, trailed by Amber Tamblyn, Maria Bello and Scarlett Johansson (here with beau Josh Hartnett, she spent her days snowmobiling while he promoted his film, "Lucky Number Slevin").

Most of the celebs stayed in that night, noshing at private dinners held in enormous ski lodges in Upper Deer Valley, while a few, such as Kelly Osbourne and Bai Ling (who jetted in together on Ozzy's private jet), braved the Main Street fraternity-like frenzy. Saturday night, Amanda Scheer-Demme hosted a party at the retail-tainment/ski complex known as Village at the Lift, which drew party boys such as Donovan Leitch and Scott Caan. The event played out like a scene from a snowy Studio 54: As the flakes blanketed the 19-degree night, Scheer-Demme appeared on the second-floor balcony to scope out the scene and point to the people she wanted to come inside.
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