Robert Redford Opens the 2011 Festival.
In the moments before the 2011 Sundance Film Festival officially launched with the annual Day One press conference at the Egyptian Theatre in Park City, two Festival employees stood sentry at either side of the stage, anticipating the arrival of Sundance Institute President and Founder Robert Redford, Executive Director Keri Putnam, and Festival Director John Cooper. Framed by the theatre’s neo-Egyptian proscenium and dressed in the Fest’s chic, Kenneth Cole-designed royal blue ski vests, the microphone-toting gentlemen inadvertently embodied a Festival preceded by a rich history, outfitted for the future, and eager to get on with the present.

With a record six films in this year’s U.S. Dramatic Competition developed through the Sundance Institute Labs, Redford led off the press conference calling for renewed focus on how the original mission for the Institute still defines the Festival. “We’re always asking, ‘What are we doing, why are we here, what’s the point of all of this?’” he said. “The point simply has been to do whatever we can to create opportunities for new artists.”

Redford put into context all of the ways that the Institute has grown since its founding thirty years ago, from the Labs growing into a year-round support system for filmmakers to the advent of the Sundance Channel, Sundance Theatres, and to developing ventures online and beyond. He spoke enthusiastically about the potential of new technology and of the Internet, “as long as we adapt to them and stay focused on the mission of helping filmmakers get their work out.  More....
Courtesy of Eric Hynes & Sundance Film Festival

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