Sundance expands outside Utah for one night

Wed Nov 4, 2009 4:36pm EST
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Sundance Film Festival organizers on Wednesday unveiled plans for a one-night expansion of January's event to theaters in eight U.S. cities, hoping to encourage a discussion about the role art and cinema play in people's lives.

Sundance, the largest U.S. gathering for independent films, is held each January in Park City, Utah, a small town about 30 miles east of Salt Lake City. On January 28, the festival will send eight festival films and their makers to eight theaters across the United States for "Sundance Film Festival U.S.A."

Audiences in each of those theaters will be able to watch the movie and talk to the filmmakers who made them.

"We hope by speaking with artists about their work and experiencing the festival as it is happening, audiences will be inspired to share opinions, discuss the key issues and reflect on the role art plays in social change," festival founder Robert Redford said in a statement.

Each film screening in the eight cities will be preceded by a brief video featuring Redford and highlights of the festival, and the movies picked as part of the event will be named after Sundance announces its full lineup of movies in December.

On the same night in Utah, organizers will screen the socio-political documentary "The Shock Doctrine," based on a book by journalist Naomi Klein. The screening will be followed by a discussion with Klein, Redford and the film's makers, and festival backers hope it too will spur debate.

The eight cities participating in Sundance Film Festival U.S.A. are Ann Arbor, Michigan; Brookline, Massachusetts; Brooklyn, New York; Chicago, Illinois; Madison, Wisconsin; Nashville, Tennessee and Los Angeles and San Francisco in California.

(Editing by Jill Serjeant)

<p>A general view of Main Street in Old Town Park City is seen from the south at dusk during the 2009 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah January 18, 2009. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok</p>