Bennett Miller, Rose Kuo, Paul Schrader, Philippe Bonay, Tony Gilroy and Charles Finch. Photo:

Space was at a premium Wednesday night at a dinner downtown hosted by Film Society of Lincoln Center and new partners Jaeger-LeCoultre. Film Society announced the high profile roster of filmmakers and actors who will serve on a board of advisors for a new program launched earlier this year by the two groups.

The new Filmmaker in Residence program, an opportunity for a filmmaker to develop a new project with the support of the Film Society and Jaeger LeCoultre, will engage a group of notable advisors that include Henry Bean, Brady Corbet, Charles Finch, Naomi Foner, Larry Gross, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Danny Huston, Tamara Jenkins, Ed Lachman, Bennett Miller, Matthew Modine, Ed Pressman, Ira Sachs, Paul Schrader and Marisa Tomei.

Corbet, Gross, Huston, Jenkins, Miller, Pressman and Schrader were among those who attended the announcement event last night at downtown restaurant Il Buco. Harvey Weinstein, New Line Cinema founder Bob Shaye and filmmakers Todd Solondz, James Toback, and JC Chandor dropped in as well. The sit-down dinner featured multiple courses served family style and lots of lively chatter. New filmmakers and multiple award-winning veterans mingled between courses.

Harvey Weinstein and Danny Huston Wednesday night. Photo Billy Farrell /

“The purpose of this evening is a pure one that is rare I think, which is to bring together the Film Society of Lincoln Center and Jaeger-LeCoultre to build and partner in supporting filmmakers,” said Charles Finch, speaking on behalf of the partnership. “The Film Society of Lincoln Center has been an exhibition organization for 50 years and we are now also spearheading artist development through our Artist Academy and Critics Academy and have considered long term what we wanted long term and thought wouldn’t it be great to have an Artist in Residence bringing the cinema world together with our film community here in New York and it was a long term goal, but it was sped up by [Jaeger LeCoultre] with a conversation in December. We’re very excited about it.”

The first Filmmaker in Residence will be announced later this summer and will participate in master classes, a mentorship program, and other events for Film Society Members, the film community, and the public through to the 51st New York Film Festival this fall.

Paul Schrader, whose new film The Canyons was made entirely outside the studio system where he worked for years, was particularly critical of the state of mainstream filmmaking today. He had some choice words about the state of things during a conversation with FilmLinc Daily at last night’s dinner.

Schrader told FilmLinc Daily that he created a new short film for the Venice Film Festival that ties in the future of cinema. Truth be told, he described it as “bleak” and joked that nobody wants to hear him talk about his dire prognostications about film. Whether you agree with him or not, the sentiment underlines the importance and urgency of programs like this one to help filmmkaers navigate the changing nature of cinema.

Todd Solondz, Ryan Fleck and James Toback. Photo: Brian Brooks