Redford aims to bring indie U.S. cinema to London

Thu Apr 26, 2012 4:04pm EDT
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By Mike Collett-White

LONDON (Reuters) - Actor-director Robert Redford aims to bring the spirit of independent American cinema to Britain this week with Sundance London, transporting the film festival held annually in Park City, Utah, across the Atlantic for the first time.

The inaugural Sundance London Film and Music Festival will showcase several small budget features and documentaries as a counterweight to Hollywood blockbusters which tend to dominate cinema theatres the world over.

The festival will include the British premieres of 14 feature-length films, discussions, Q&As and musical performances, and will take place at London's O2 music and cinema venue from Thursday to Sunday.

It is the first foreign offshoot of Redford's annual Sundance film festival, and part of his vision of bringing independent cinema to wider audiences.

"I just feel that there's a hunger for other kinds of films as well, and that's what we represent," the 75-year-old "The Sting" star told reporters at a press launch on Thursday.

Redford said that, as a major Hollywood player, he had worked "on both sides of the aisle", and had nothing against big budget action movies. But he added:

"That diversity was not so available in the mainstream film industry because it has scaled down and become more centralized over time and following the youth market.

"So therefore it got narrower and narrower and it was going to be more prone to blockbusters, which is fine ... but not at the expense, I felt, of the humanistic side of cinema."   Continued...

Robert Redford speaks at the opening news conference at the Egyptian Theatre during the first day of the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah January 19, 2012. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart