Eclectic crowd walks Evan green carpet

A varied swath of Charlottesville citizenry turned out for the local premiere of Evan Almighty. Former mayor Maurice Cox, City Councilor Dave Norris, a Code Pinker and a local homeless guy were among those with coveted tickets to get into the Paramount and the after party at the Omni.

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PHOTOS BY HAWES SPENCER

Director Tom Shadyac plugged his two pet projects: the First Street Church, which he's purchased to turn into a homeless day shelter, and the new, yet-to-be-built Crozet library. "We didn't want to pillage while we were here," Shadyac told the local press, corralled at the entrance to the theater.

"Two words: living wage," said Shadyac, keeping the social-issue commentary rolling, and getting in a plug for the Virginia Organizing Project. Shadyac's own social conscience provided a theme for the movie– and its marketing.

On the green carpet, the Conservation Fund's Jenna Thompson described how her organization "helped zero out the carbon imprint" of the film by planting trees and recycling materals.

Evan is "a Bible parable," said Shadyac. "We wanted to find meaning in it." And of course the movie has God– Morgan Freeman, who was not in attendance at the local premiere.

As for his own religious leanings, Shadyac calls himself a "tweener." Said the director of the family-oriented film, "I like to find the spaces between faiths." Raised a Catholic, Shadyac cites the influence of Sufi mystics and philosophers.

And he's philosophic about the cost of the movie that's being called the most expensive comedy ever made. It's those darn animals that drove the cost up– "north of $170 million," according to Shadyac. "It wouldn't have cost as much if we hadn't come here... They told me how much it's going to cost, and I went, 'Wow.'"

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3 comments

I ended up with tickets at the last minute - thank you to Eric and my bosses. I wasn't expecting much out of this movie but it was actually fantastic. Better than Bruce Almighty and a great family film. Congratulations to all involved!

I would like to seem some verification of the alleged "carbon neutral" aspects of this event and movie. offsets tend not to be sufficient.

I don't believe the term "carbon neutral" was used - at least not in this publication. The quote is "helped zero out the carbon imprint". Take a language/logic class and then reread the article.
You should also do some research on the amount of work that Tom Shadyac (along with residents, friend, and colleagues) is actually doing in the Charlottesville area before tossing out a cynical statement masquerading as an intelligent lead-in to discussion.