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There is a hunger for independent films, says Robert Redford

At the opening of the first ever Sundance Festival to take place outside of the US, actor, filmmaker and independent film advocate Robert Redford, hit out at David Cameron saying he does not agree with the PM’s plans to concentrate solely on commercially viable films, adding the idea shows Cameron has a “narrow view” of the industry.

With a clear conviction Redford, who attended the opening of Sundance London at the O2 arena, said: “That may be why he [Cameron] is in trouble. That’s a very narrow view. I don’t want to say it speaks of the man, but that doesn’t speak to the broad category of film-makers and artists.”

Redford, who is 75 years old, leads the Sundance Institute, the organisation behind the festival that takes place inPark City,Utah, every year. The organisation sets up filmmakers’ laboratories across the world, supporting and actively contributing to the creation of more quality independent films and especially documentaries.

Talking about the first ever festival to be held outside its usual January spot in the US since it was set up in 1978 when it was still called the Utah/US film festival, Redford said: “This is a scaled-down version of what we do in the mountains in Utah. We want to offer the alchemy of what we do at Sundance, and see how it is received. That’s why we’re here.”

“When Sundance started we didn’t know if the festival was going to survive, but it did,” he said. “The audiences grew, and became as diverse as the filmmaking. There’s a hunger for other films, and that’s what we represent.”

Showing inLondon are the best documentaries and films from this year’s US edition such as Shut Up and Play the Hits, Chasing Ice and The Queen of Versailles. On Saturday the organisation also added a last minute doc with a difference; Prince Charles’s documentary on climate change – Harmony. Redford said the Prince’s film was a “natural fit” for the festival.


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Alexandra Zeevalkink is a Dutch-born journalist living in London who founded DocGeeks in August 2011 in order to have a legitimate excuse to watch every documentary under the sun. She freelances for various publications and writes mainly about documentaries and the film production industry. When she is not blogging or watching films, she enjoys theater, photography and reading loads of books. She is always on the look out for potential partnerships with other creative minds.

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