Last night, I had the chance to chat up writer-director Paul Haggis while attending The Gen Art Film Festival launch party in SoHo (NYC, that is). Though I'm far from your typical sparkling socialite, every so often I do partake in the occasional indie-related party ... so long as there's an open bar. Which there was. And that made me happy. Since I've never been to a party in a shoe store before (mind you, this was a trendy SoHo shoe store), I must say it was interesting to wait on a 45-minute bathroom line while a group of wannabee models in skimpy cocktail dresses tried on shoes at a nearby table. "Oh, this pair is only $800? I'll take it!"

Anyway, Paul Haggis is a really cool dude -- for some reason, I never expected him to be that friendly. After we were introduced, I couldn't help but talk about some of his upcoming projects. Seeing as he did some work on the Casino Royale script, was he involved in Bond 22? And what's going on with In the Valley of Elah (his feature directorial follow-up to the Oscar-winning Crash)? As far as Bond 22 goes, Haggis told me with a peculiar smile that he was not involved in the film ... yet. Though it seemed to me as if he'd be interested in tackling another re-write should the situation present itself. Right now, he's currently editing Elah; he told me he's at that point where "you either forge ahead or slit your wrists." I'm sure every filmmaker out there knows exactly what he's talking about, and can feel his pain. On the horizon, Haggis said he's currently got 3 or 4 more projects he's working on, but wouldn't go into details about what those projects were. Perhaps I should've waited until he had a few more drinks in him (insert winking smiley face here).

The Gen Art Film Festival runs from April 11-17, and it's a great little pre-game before the monster that is Tribeca. For those of you in and around the NYC area, Gen Art's fest hosts one NY premiere each night followed by a swanky after party at some of New York's top hot spots. For more information on the festival, as well as what's playing, head on over to their website now.