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From Festivus to Festival

Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Robert De Niro, and More Star Power at Vanity Fair's Tribeca Film Fest Kickoff

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Robert De Niro, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Michael Douglas   
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It was back to the usual space, the State Supreme Courthouse, and the usual star chef, Thomas Keller, for Vanity Fair's annual Tribeca Film Festival kickoff dinner and party. And as usual, the guest list favored the rich, powerful, and talented. The only difference, really, were the new projects that drove the conversations, like Julia Louis-Dreyfus' hotly anticipated Veep. The former Seinfeld star may play the vice president in the new HBO show, but she was a far cry from a dowdy politician last night. She called out her dress designer's name as she sailed by on the red carpet: "Alaïa!"

Leelee Sobieski, a juror for the festival, is also on a new show, a police drama co-produced by Robert De Niro called NYC 22. For the delightful spring weather, she pulled out the fashion stops in a floor-sweeping white Jil Sander dress. "I did pick up a few things in training for the show, like I'm a decent shot," the actress said. "But I don't look like a cop tonight; I guess I'm more nurse."

There were some new faces, too, like New York native Michael Kenneth Williams, who plays Chalky White on Boardwalk Empire. It may have been his first time at the Tribeca party, but he's a seasoned vet of indie films. "The big blockbusters are good for supporting actors in the industry," he said. "But the independent films, that's where the art is. That's where you'll fall in love with acting all over again."

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