Sundance Film Festival: Be There … if you're serious about indie film

Last year, the Sundance Film Festival made a point of returning to its indie roots, away from glitzy Hollywood fare and back to the riskier films on which it made its name. In keeping with this back-to-basics approach, the 2010 festival played on themes of renewal, rebirth, rebellion … “ReWork.”

So what to make of this year’s slogan, “Be There?”

Speaking to Toronto Star movie critic Peter Howell, both festival director John Cooper and founder Robert Redford offer assurance that last year’s indie spirit will continue and that the emphatic directive to attend applies only to those who truly embrace that spirit.

“If you’re coming to Sundance and not really serious about independent films, then don’t come,” Cooper tells Howell. “It’s about thinking a little bit deeper and not just thinking about the parties or who’s there or even what’s going to sell. It’s thinking about the quality of the films first.”

Redford echoes the commitment. “I worked pretty hard last year to bring Sundance back to a place that was more where it was when it began,” he tells Howell. “I felt that was happening and I felt good about it. It brought a kind of fresh energy to it that I could breathe on.”

Which sounds like all the more reason to “Be There,” come to think of it.

The rest of Howell’s article can be found here.