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Film execs feud rolls on; Wahlberg makes a point

If director Martin Scorsese wants to make a movie in Massachusetts, who does he talk to? According to Mark Drago, he talks to Mark Drago. According to Robin Dawson, he talks to Robin Dawson. The truth? Your guess is as good as ours. The tit-for-tat between Drago and Dawson, a feud that began soon after the Massachusetts Film Office folded in 2002, continued yesterday with an exchange of self-serving e-mails. First, Drago's people fired off a press release announcing that the Massachusetts Sports & Entertainment Commission -- of which Drago is VP of film and entertainment -- will hereafter ''lead and expand" the effort to attract, yup, film and entertainment projects to the Bay State. (The release had the requisite quotes from credentialed types like Senate president Bob Travaglini, House Speaker Sal DiMasi and, of course, Governor Mitt Romney, who doesn't mention Drago by name but does ''support and encourage the commission's ongoing film and entertainment efforts.") All of this is news to Dawson, the former Film Office exec who continues to hustle Hollywood as head of the private, nonprofit Massachusetts Film Bureau. ''I'm unaware of any announcement," she said yesterday. ''It's very disheartening because we've been working very diligently with the Legislature, and we're working on three major feature films currently." (One is, in fact, Scorsese's ''The Departed," which will be shot here and star Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio.) Dawson's peeps then fired off an MP3 file of the governor on Howie Carr's radio show saying flattering things about the work of the Film Bureau. ''From 'The Perfect Storm' to 'Good Will Hunting' to 'Amistad,' I have the experience Hollywood turns to," Dawson said. She used to, at least.

In accepting the 2003 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, horror novelist Stephen King took a none-too-subtle swipe at the country's strait-laced literary establishment. King said it's about time the National Book Foundation recognizes writers whose work is not regularly reviewed in the Sunday New York Times Book Review. He then rattled off some of his faves, including Elmore Leonard, Peter Straub, Nora Lofts, Dennis Lehane, and New Hampshire novelist Jodi Picoult, whose best-selling books include ''My Sister's Keeper" and ''Keeping Faith." Don't know her? Tonight, Picoult reads at the Williston Northampton School's writers workshop. Organized by Northampton novelist Elinor Lipman, the workshop gives students, parents, and the general public a chance to see and hear some excellent if overlooked writers. ''There were a couple of us whose children were students, and we thought, 'We could get our writer friends to come and speak,"' said Lipman. Past participants have included Tracy Kidder, Arthur Golden, Joe Nocera, poet James Tate, and Anita Shreve, who spoke Oct. 19 even though she's a huge Sox fan and it was Game 6 against the Yankees. ''Anita said Game 5 was the happiest night of her life," said Lipman. ''I said, 'Come on, what about when Oprah called?' "

Those folks at Bain & Co. really know how to celebrate. On Saturday, they managed to get rocker Sheryl Crow to play at a private anniversary party for nearly 600 people. We're told Crow, who was in town last week with Lance Armstrong for the Kerry to-do at the Boston Public Library, played for about an hour in a tent at the edge of the UMass-Boston campus.

It's hard to overstate just how bad the movie starring Ryan O'Neal and Isabella Rossellini was, but maybe a reading of Norman Mailer's ''Tough Guys Don't Dance" will be better. Presented by the Provincetown Repertory Theatre, the reading of the leathery man of letters' eighth novel takes place Saturday at the Provincetown Theater. Mailer will play protagonist Dougy Madden, and his son, John Buffalo Mailer, will play, appropriately, Madden's son, Tim.

State Street VP Robyn L. Holloway was caught a little off-guard yesterday at LAX. Waiting for her Boston-bound flight, Holloway crossed paths with Mark Wahlberg, who was just getting off an American Airlines flight. So why was the hunky actor obsessively pointing to his blue BoSox cap? Because he saw Holloway's pink Sox cap, and he's still psyched that the Sox won the World Series. . . . By the way, Wahlberg was returning from Dorchester, where he attended sister Tracey's wedding to Michael Marcelli on Saturday night. The couple were married by the Rev. Jim Flavin at St. Ann's Church in Dorchester before 175 people.

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