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Famed director Oliver Stone said last night that outspoken Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez, who is often panned in the U.S. press, is a fan of his new South American political documentary "South of the Border."
"After the filming we even went back to show the film to President Chavez," Stone told Niteside last night during his private screening at Cinema 2 in Midtown for the film about the social and political movements of South America
"He let us know that he was very happy with it.”
A clutch of New York glitterati was there to toast the completion of "Border," which was shot by Stone during a field trip across five different countries in which he analyzes how the press fails to convey the realities of what's going on in South America.
Known for his willingness to tackle hot-button issues -- most recently with his George W. Bush biopic “W.” -- the director also visited Bolivia, Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Ecuador and Cuba, talking to their respective leaders who, he said, were more than welcoming hosts.
“Not once did I not feel safe," he said.
Stone, who arrived on the red carpet sporting a mustache, told Niteside he has had little time to celebrate completing the film.
"When I filmed this in 2009, I was working on four different documentaries and "Wall Street 2." It was difficult finding time to sleep even," the filmmaker told Niteside.
"I think this next weekend is the first that I've had off in a while, and I'm going to the Hamptons.”
While introducing the movie, the Academy Award-winning director was quick to mention the people that helped make the doc the happen at length. In the audience he pointed out writer Tariq Ali, who has quite a list of accolades including his novel "Pirates Of The Caribbean: Axis of Hope," and renowned documentarian Albert Maysles who lent his skills to the filming of “South of the Border.”
After the screening the attendees made their way to the Graydon Carter-owned Monkey Bar on 54th Street for apps, cocktails and some fierce political conversation.
“I think it does what a good documentary should," Maysles offered on his way to the bar. "Show us the other side.”
Also showing their support was actor Mickey Rourke who took some time to share a chat and embrace with Stone.
The film will be released Friday, June 25.