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"Dear Di, thanks again for the brilliant job you did on the Kundun Event. It was a pleasure working with you."

"Thank you so much for being my eyes and ears in NY on the "Mulan" project. It all came together nicely and I felt much better knowing you were involved. It's a pleasure working with such a professional. All the best!"

Diane Connors, VP Special Events,
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
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Marcus Robinson Event

Held on the 68th floor with panoramic views of the city, including the Freedom Tower, this cocktail event for 400 guests honored director (and artist) Marcus Robinson, who received a BAFTA award for his work on the film. "Rebuilding the World Trade Center," which debuted on September 11 on History, is the result of Marcus' work filming the construction workers who helped build the Freedom Tower. The event was co-sponsored by Lion TV (who produced the film), A&E, and the Northern Ireland Tourism Bureau.

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Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group, Inc.

(Formerly Buena Vista Pictures)
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Diane has had a relationship with the Disney corporation since 1993, starting in their television development division. At Party Planners West, Diane cut her teeth on The Lion King her first movie premiere (at the Hollywood Bowl.) The Santa Clause and Renaissance Man followed. In addition to working with LA-based Progressive Events on the Kundun premiere, Main Event also coordinated the premiere of Mulan.

My Disney client is based in LA, and is used to spacious venues. One of her goals when hosting an event in Manhattan is to find a space with plenty of, well, space. This was especially important for the Kundun premiere in 1997. She asked me to scout a location near the famous Ziegfeld theater on 54th Street, where guests could walk from the theater to the after-party after the screening.

As I walked from the subway stop to the Ziegfeld, I passed the old Studio 54. The doors were locked and the inside was dark, but I took one look at the Beaux-Arts design and had to go inside. I found the superintendent, who let me in to explore, then gave me the name and number of the owner. I found out they were hoping for an annual tenant, but he liked my idea to rent the space for events.

My next hurdle was to convince Martin Scorsese (director) and Melissa Mathison (screenwriter) to host the after-party for a movie about the life of the Dalai Lama at the den of iniquity, Studio 54. Because the accoutrements of the club's heyday had been removed (the large spoon hanging from the ceiling, disco balls, etc.), I suggested once we decorate the space, no one would ever know.

We made sure the invitation noted the address only, and converted the empty club into a peaceful, beautiful space. I thought it would be unique to have a tea bar in addition to a full bar, and we had Pan-Asian food (including dumplings from a Tibetan restaurant in Murray Hill). The film's elephant and several tapestries filled the cavernous space, and I created a lounge area on the second floor with rented Asian-style couches, tables and area rugs. A Buddha was surrounded by oranges and lit candles, and Tibetan prayer flags were stretched across the buffet spaces. Guests consulted with Buddhist monks using prayer beads, and a video of a mandala (a symbol which helps worshipers progress toward a state of enlightening) played on a loop. Guests were entranced by the mood and the setting, and enjoyed the party, especially the extra elbow room!

Buena Vista Clients

Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group, Inc. (formerly known as Buena Vista Motion Pictures Group) is a corporation which develops scripts and overseas theatrical film production for The Walt Disney Company's production companies and imprints. It includes:

Walt Disney Pictures and Television
(Walt Disney Pictures, Touchstone Pictures & Hollywood Pictures)
Miramax Films
Walt Disney Animation Studios
Pixar Animation Studios

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Contact Diane Rohan, Chief Entertainment Officer: • 917-375-1596