Robert Redford noncommittal on future of London's Sundance event

Wed Apr 24, 2013 10:00am EDT
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By Belinda Goldsmith

LONDON (Reuters) - Robert Redford said on Wednesday that the future of London's Sundance film and music festival was by no means certain, as he launched the British version of an event that aims to boost interest in independent film.

Last year was the first time that the U.S. actor-director had ventured outside the United States with a version of the Sundance Film Festival, the world's leading independent film festival, that he set up in Park City, Utah, 35 years ago.

Redford said last year was "a toe-in-the-water experiment" and had been successful enough to repeat, with this year's line-up including the U.S. rock band the Eagles and the Canadian musician and performance artist Peaches.

But he was noncommittal on its future.

"It is hard to declare a length of commitment until you let it play out and see how it goes," Redford told a news conference before the festival at London's O2 venue from April 25-28.

Last year he told reporters that he hoped Sundance London would prove a success with audiences and allow him to expand the festival to other parts of the world as a counterweight to the Hollywood blockbusters that dominate cinemas globally.

When asked on Wednesday if he still planned to take Sundance to other countries, he replied with a curt "No".

Redford, 75, set up the Sundance Institute in 1981, which led to the film festival, to encourage emerging and aspiring filmmakers working outside Hollywood's major studios. But he said the sector continued its uphill battle.   Continued...

President and founder of the Sundance Institute, Robert Redford, poses for photographers during a news conference for Sundance London, at the O2 Arena in London April 24, 2013. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett