Aspiration: Party person - Seeing the bigger picture

Film premiere party organiser Caroline Lockyer-Nibbs shines amongst the stars.

The night before the UK's BAFTA film awards, Nibbs Events founder Caroline Lockyer-Nibbs was immersed in her own star-studded pre-awards event for US-based United International Pictures (UIP) and Variety magazine.

The party was held at London's Middle Temple - an old Elizabethan banqueting hall in the City - and staged as a more English take on the fanfare that occurs in the US the evening before the Oscars.

"It was the first event of its kind and Jaguar agreed to co-sponsor," says Lockyer-Nibbs. "Steinetz provided diamond jewellery for the guests and Perrier-Jouet supplied Champagne. We received the backing of the film industry and raised a lot of money for Elton John's Aids foundation."

It's easy to see why the film industry backed a venture from Nibbs Events.

Lockyer-Nibbs is, as the Odeon Cinema has it, fanatical about film. Her company specialises in London film premieres, pre-screening events and post-screening parties. "I started as special events manager for the Prince's Trust," she explains. "I then freelanced for UIP which is when I decided to focus on film events."

Her role gives her a panoramic view of international celebrity but Lockyer-Nibbs retains an objective stance.

"You often find that some stars who are great on screen don't necessarily project so well in a live situation," she admits.

That said, the premiere of Vanilla Sky saw Tom Cruise emerge as an able off-screen showman. "He's known for spending a lot of time with fans. But he almost overdid it, leaving a celebrity audience waiting while he signed autographs and talked into fans' mobiles."

Cruise didn't stick around to party afterwards. Promotional schedules mean stars rarely get the chance to let their hair down. So Lockyer-Nibbs didn't expect much from Jennifer Lopez when she arrived in town for the premiere of Maid in Manhattan last year.

"I was wrong," she concedes. "Columbia Tristar had flown in J-Lo's personal DJ and he insisted she would dance at the after party. To our surprise, she left the VIP area and danced for over an hour and it really made the event."

SAT BAL

Lockyer-Nibbs

In Brief

1982: PA to the publisher of House and Garden, and Brides and Setting Up Home magazines at Conde Nast.

1988: Special events manager at The Prince's Trust.

1995: Went freelance, organising film premieres and working as a party planner for The Admirable Crichton and Rhubarb Food Design.

1999: Set up Nibbs Events, with a client list that now includes United International Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox and Columbia Tristar.


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