January 21st, 2010
06:38 PM ET

Sundance: fresh and new

Today marks the first official day of the Sundance Film Festival.  In keeping with tradition, festival founder Robert Redford hosted a press conference at the Egyptian Theater on Main St. in order to kick things off.  This year, Redford was joined by the festival's new director, John Cooper.

For Redford, this year's festival was all about rebirth and returning to the event's original vision.  By far, the most-used buzz words by both Redford and Cooper were "fresh" and "new."  The two men underscored strongly that this year's festival is returning to its roots and is completely focused on fresh, new ideas.

Two countries are fresh and new to this year's festival: Estonia and Greenland.  Likewise, the festival has two fresh new programs.  The first is called "Next" and focuses on extremely low budget or no budget films.  The other is called "Sundance Film Festival USA" and provides a platform in which movies showing at the festival will also be seen in art house cinemas in eight American cities.

Not so fresh and new was Redford's take on what he calls the "ambush marketing" campaigns which he feels plague Sundance.  For those that do not know, each year Park City, Utah is flooded with gift lounges, parties and a number of other non-film ventures which capitalize on the popularity (and star power) of the festival.  If Redford had his druthers, the festival would be entirely about showcasing the art of independent filmmaking and providing opportunities to emerging artists.

Redford calls The Sundance Film Festival an opportunity: the opportunity for discovery, for unprecedented storytelling, for social activism and for communication.  While the festival has also become an opportunity to spot Paris Hilton at a celebrity gift lounge, the acclaimed actor and filmmaker did not include that one on his list.

soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. icon pack

    You are mistaken. Let's discuss. Write to me in PM, we will communicate.

    November 4, 2012 at 3:36 am | Report abuse |
  2. Bolton Scharfberg /Scarsdale New York

    thank you Dad for being engaged with this pertinent and Salient issue.

    September 18, 2010 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Thomas R. Clauss (In Diapers at 90)

    Well said Barry!

    September 18, 2010 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Barry Scharfberg

    We must remember that Good Things take time.

    September 18, 2010 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Debra R

    The only thing fresh and new are the hair plugs and extensions, plastic surgery and botox treatments...and for many...that's old or reoccurring news.....

    January 22, 2010 at 8:27 am | Report abuse |

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