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2018 Sundance Film Festival

Kevin Smith Makes Waves With RED STATE

Kevin Smith's RED STATE

Kevin Smith’s RED STATE, which opened at the Sundance Film Festival on Sunday night amidst protests by the inflammatory Christian fundamentalist group that inspired it (and counter-protests, in which Smith himself participated), is “cleverly contrarian enough to get a rise out of almost any audience,” Hollywood Reporter critic Todd McCarthy writes in one of the more favorable critical assessments of the film so far. McCarthy could have been talking about the filmmaker, in addition to the film.

Actually, Smith may be aiming to get more of a rise out of the Hollywood industry dealmakers. (If so, he appears to have succeeded.) Instead of auctioning off the distribution rights to his film, which cost $4 million to make, Smith announced following Sunday’s screening that he would buy the distribution rights himself for $20 and take the picture (and members of the cast, including Michael Parks) out on the road for a series of one-night engagements in cities including Boston, Chicago, Minneapolis, Ann Arbor, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Springfield, Denver, New Orleans, Austin, Atlanta and Seattle.

These screening/discussion engagements (tickets will cost $60 and go on sale Jan. 28) will begin March 5 at Radio City Music Hall in New York, and will culminate in the film’s release on October 19 (the 17th anniversary of the theatrical release of the director’s breakthrough effort, CLERKS) by Smith’s new company, SModcast.

Oh, Smith also announced that, after his forthcoming film HIT SOMEBODY, he plans to retire from filmmaking and focus on helping to produce the work of young filmmakers.

Be sure to satisfy all your festival needs with the latest buzz, top stories, and celebrity interviews from Sundance Channel’s coverage of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.