Archive for “January, 2014”

Sundance Film Festival celebrates 30th anniversary

The Sundance Film Festival celebrates its 30th anniversary this week. The annual event showcasing the best of independent film takes place in the snowy mountains of Park City, Utah.

Credit: Fred Hayes

Credit: Fred Hayes

With more than 120 feature-length films being screened – many from first-time filmmakers, the festival continues to grow in stature and influence with each year. At the opening press conference, Founder and President of Sundance Institute Robert Redford spent some time discussing the festival’s origins.

“The ambition was simply to create a community of likeminded filmmakers to come and share their own work,” Redford said. “I came here because of the state’s pioneer history, so I wanted to preserve that at Sundance. I also wanted to add something that would create a new dimension.”

Over the past 30 years, the festival has provided opportunities for countless filmmakers – from Steven Soderbergh to Quentin Tarantino to John Cameron Mitchell. Some of the ground-breaking films introduced at the festival include Little Miss Sunshine, An Inconvenient Truth, Precious and Beasts of the Southern Wild just to name a few. The festival is a programme of the non-profit Sundance Institute.

“I’d say the history and the product pretty well speaks for itself in terms of independent film and the opportunities we’ve given people,” he said. “Over 30 years if you looked at all the people who are now working who came through with our help, that gives me great pleasure. To me that’s more satisfying than anything.”

The event has evolved significantly from those early days and now includes categories for documentaries, shorts and world cinema. In fact, four of the Oscar-nominated documentaries were shown at the festival last year. There is a music programme, and the third annual Sundance London will take place in late April. Sundance Channel is now seen across the globe.

The Sundance Film Festival runs through 26th January. The full-length opening press conference featuring Redford, Festival Director John Cooper and Keri Putnam (Executive Director of the Sundance Institute) can be seen here.