Banksy's "Exit" to premiere at Sundance

Thu Jan 21, 2010 3:13am EST
 
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By Gregg Goldstein

NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - The infamous (and anonymous) graffiti artist Banksy is pulling what may be his biggest prank ever at the Sundance Film Festival -- with the help of fellow Brit Rhys Ifans.

The guerrilla pseudo-documentary "Exit Through the Gift Shop," billed as "A Banksy Film" and narrated by Ifans, will have its world premiere Sunday night.

Hopes are that an adventurous distributor will pony up as many millions for the film as Banksy earns for the "street art" he secretly leaves in urban spaces. Several of his works have appeared on Park City walls this week.

The film, billed as an exploration of "street art," takes audiences on hairpin twists and turns as it chronicles renegade urban artists and pranksters from around the world.

According to a description, "L.A.-based filmmaker Terry Guetta set out to record this secretive world in thrilling detail. For more than eight years he traveled with a backpack through Europe and America. After he met a British street artist known only as Banksy, things took a bizarre turn."

But whether the artist known as Banksy directed the film himself is still a mystery.

"Sundance has shown films by unknown artists, but never an anonymous one," said festival director John Cooper. He described the film as "part personal journey and part expose on the art world, with its mind-altering mix of hot air and hype."

Adding to questions surrounding the film, U.K. crop circle hoaxter John Lundberg was said to be enlisted by Banksy for stealth promotion.

"Exit" is a separate project from "docuBANKSY," an in-the-works documentary about the artist discovered last year on the Internet.

Much like Banksy's work, more about the film can be easily found now in Park City, hidden in plain sight.

 
<p>A pedestrian passes graffiti art on a wall in north London, September 24, 2009. British media have attributed the new work to acclaimed British street artist Banksy. REUTERS/Toby Melville</p>