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Sundance seal of approval



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Women just got a boost from the Sundance Film Festival.

Gwyneth Paltrow's directorial debut, the short film Dealbreaker, which she co-directed with her best friend and daughter Apple's godmother, Mary Wigmore, has earned a spot at the January festival, organizers announced Monday.

"I've always hoped I would go to Sundance and especially to be there with this film that Gwyneth and I are both so proud of," Wigmore says.

Dealbreaker, a comedy about dating follies, is part of a yearlong project from Glamour magazine, called Reel Moments, that links high-profile female moviemakers and talent with stories inspired by real women.

A nod from Sundance means the project has "gotten artistic recognition and authenticity from the industry," says Leslie Russo, associate publisher at Glamour.

Five stories, picked from more than 4,000 essays submitted to Glamour, were made into films by a Who's Who of Hollywood women. Trudie Styler and Emmy-winning Sex and the City writer Jenny Bicks also make directorial debuts.

"I looked at 20 essays, and this one spoke to me," Styler says of Wait. The film, which stars Kerry Washington and Debi Mazar, "poses the question: Is there one person in our life who fate has meant us to be with, even if odds look against it?" Styler's husband, Sting, donated the theme song.

Dealbreaker is based on a funny, three-sentence essay titled You Gotta Go. "We had a joke in our relationship about dating dealbreakers," says Wigmore, who has been friends with Paltrow since age 4. "We created a script around that essay and included stories from our own lives."

Is another co-directed film in the future? "We would like to, as long as it's a comedy," Wigmore says.

Thursday, Reel Moments' power players and the women whose stories inspired the films will attend a premiere in New York, where the films were made. Other films are Gnome, directed by Bicks; Good Morning Baby, starring Piper Perabo; and Little Black Dress with Rosario Dawson.

"I'm so proud, and Glamour wants to do it again next year," says Moxie Films' Francesca Silvestri, who oversaw the project. "I've already gotten some calls from potential filmmakers and actresses who want to direct."

The films will be available on glamour.com starting Friday and available on DVD in January.

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© Copyright 2004 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc.

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