Saba Shirazi, Newport Beach Film Festival Publicist, Dies in Auto Accident
I walked into the Fashion Island hospitality suite set aside for media and filmmakers during the '09 run and Saba was sitting in a chair trembling, her eyes filled with tears and a just-saw-a-ghost expression splashed across her face.
She told me she had just been roughed up by some douchy, self-important, La-La Land, gossip blogger, who threw a "you'll-never-do-lunch-in-this-town-again" hissy fit--and threw Saba up against a wall.
It may have been this jack-ass. (I didn't catch the name, because, according to those who witnessed the incident, no one had ever heard of him.)
If you read all the way to the end of El Douche's dispatch:
2) He accuses Saba of roughing up him.
Now, here's the deal with Saba: she was teensy weensy. Do they make dress sizes that are smaller than zero? She would break a sweat roughing up a cardboard cut-out.
Anyway, in the wake of the ugly encounter, she was scared, confused and one had to seriously wonder, given the stress of her job, if she'd put herself through all that again.
Well, see the above references to the 2010 festival. She was there for us with that light-up-a-hospitality-suite smile.
The other tale concerns April's fest. We did much pre-planning together and ironed out some issues that always pop up like boils in the middle of these monster truck pulls.
Then it hit her: we had not actually seen one another out at festland.
I told her that was only half true: I had spotted her going up an escalator as I was going down the one next to it. She looked too stressed (naturally, given her work) to say, "Hey," so I figured I'd see her again later.
"Well," she replied, "next time make sure you come over and say hello."
The thing is, I thought I did. Leaving a Weekly-sponsored blow-out in a Fashion Island courtyard in a single-microbrew stupor, I passed the now-closed theaters that had shown that night's festival flicks. There, standing in the lobby, was Saba, engrossed in coordination talk with another staffer.
This presented one of those Curb Your Enthusiasm set-ups: She appeared much too busy to interrupt. But, what if I breezed by, she caught a glimpse of me out of the corner of her eye and then assumed I had again blown her off--despite her clearly stated instructions to say hello next time.
So, I went in, cut into her conversation, said hello, gave her a big hug and stood back awaiting that inevitable look of gratification.
"Uh . . . hello," she said, confused. "So . . . you enjoyed the party?"
Oh, yes, great.
Maybe she didn't recognize me.
It's me, I said.
"Yeah, I know who you are," she said.
Well, I just wanted to say hi. So . . . hi.
"Oh. OK. Hello. I hope you had a good time."
Just before I fumbled to put my car key in the lock, I realized that wasn't Saba.