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Bill Gates thanks Ashton Kutcher for Twitter welcome, ponders Kristen Stewart, shows his Redford fanboy side

January 23, 2010 | 12:45 pm


Gates and Guggenheim Microsoft mogul and charitable billionaire Bill Gates alerted the world via Twitter that he'd be in Park City, Utah, for Sundance -- using his verified account created last year but fired up only last week.

One thing that's different about being Bill Gates, however, is that when you post your first tweets, you get a same-day welcome from Ashton Kutcher, the unofficial mayor of the microblogging site. 

"I was very thankful for that; it was nice of him," Gates told me at the House of Hype's Bing Supper Club, where a dinner party was held for the flick. The chance to support the picture, in which he has a cameo, is part of what lured him to the indie film festival for the first time.

I got to chat with the philanthropist about the documentary "Superman" and its underscoring of the education crisis in America, his entry into the wonderful world of Twitter, and even about festival darling and "Twilight" star Kristen Stewart ... 

"I was on Facebook for a while but got a little overwhelmed," Gates said, "not knowing who was or wasn't a friend."

So why tweet? "I've got a new site, and I'm really enjoying Twitter. I'm ready to share my ideas and I want people to criticize me, let me know what I should be seeing or reading about."

I'm confident Kutcher will have all kinds of viral videos and pics of his wife's dental visits to share.

Like a regular guy, Bill -- can I call him Bill now? -- asked what films I've seen at the festival. When I told him I got a chance to see Stewart and Dakota Fanning's new flick, "The Runaways," the billionaire beamed and asked me my thoughts (I can't write about the film until Sunday, Twi-hards, so check back).

(Incidentally, Paramount Pictures on Thursday acquired worldwide rights to Davis Guggenheim's "Waiting for Superman" from Participant Media.)

While in Park City, Gates also intends to check out "Jack Goes Boating," the directorial debut of Philip Seymour Hoffman, costarring Amy Ryan.

Hoffman "is great. I know that movie is going to be damn good," Gates said.

Nothing quite compares to the excitement he has for Sunday, when he'll dine with one of his idols.

"I got invited to this brunch with Robert Redford," Gates told me breathlessly. "He's one of my all-time favorite actors, so that should be good."

I expect you to tweet about it, @BillGates.

-- Matt Donnelly

Photo: That'd be @BillGates, left, with director David Guggenheim at the "Waiting for Superman" party Friday at the Bing lounge during the 2010 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. Credit: Peter Kramer / Associated Press

Check out the rest of our Sundance coverage! After you see Bill's social media pages, give ours a look on Twitter (We're @LATcelebs) and Facebook

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