“Sugar,” about Dominicans in baseball, was one of the great indie films of the last year. It was also one of the few original screenplays, too, written by its directors, Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden. This is the pair that brought us “Half Nelson” a year or so earlier. Fleck and Boden’s screenplay is nominated for an Indie Spirit Award but why stop there? Academy Award voters should be including it on their ballots, as well. Fleck and Boden are exciting new-generation filmmakers. And their producer Jamie Patricof is a go-getter in the best sense, who won’t take no for an answer…By the way, the pair’s next one is “It’s Kind of Funny,” from the Focus Features stable of the bowtied genius, James Schamus. Sounds terrific…

…There was a wine tasting backstage at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame shows, sponsored by Wines That Rock. Bono, The Edge, and Mick Jagger were among those who couldn’t get enough of’ a Dark Side of the Moon Cabernet Sauvignon, Rolling Stones Forty Licks Merlot, and a Woodstock Chardonnay. This is a great idea that someone should have thought of a long time ago: the wines come from the award winning Mendocino Wine Company with beautiful labels and the real stuff inside. Delicious.

…Here’s a little good news: Autism Speaks, the group founded by Bob and Suzanne Wright, is behind a new Manhattan school opening today. The non-profit McCarton School gets an old-fashioned ribbon cutting today at 5:30pm at Eighth Avenue and West 25th St. Guests include Dr. Cecelia McCarton, the founder, along with the Wrights and Archbishop Emeritus of New York, Edward Cardinal Egan. There’s a lot of controversy about autism treatment right now, but a new school is very exciting no matter how you slice it. Congrats!

Author
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. He wrote the Intelligencer column for NY Magazine in the mid 90s, reporting on the OJ Simpson trial, as well as for the real Parade magazine (when it was owned by Conde Nast), and has written for the New York Observer, Details, Vogue, Spin, the New York Times, NY Post, Washington Post, and NY Daily News among many publications. He is the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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