The icy mountains of Park City (Utah, USA) welcomed a new edition of Sundance on Thursday, the festival created by Robert Redford, which, as the mecca of independent cinema, will welcome thousands of spectators wanting to meet the emerging talents of the big screen.
Sundance will screen until February 3, 241 productions, between feature films and short films, from 49 different countries and that will be able to enjoy the 124,000 visitors that the organization expects.
Those responsible for the festival also stressed their commitment to diversity: 47% of all films and shorts were directed or created by at least one woman, 41% of the total had a non-white person in front, and 17% of they had someone in the LGBT community in charge.
Redford, a Hollywood legend but also a reference for lovers of unconventional film since he founded Sundance, appeared in the traditional press conference of the opening but left some questions with his brief intervention.
“I’ve done this (present Sundance) for, my God, 34 years since the festival began, and I think we’re at a point where I can continue in a different place because what I’ve missed is being able to pass time with the movies, with the directors, see their work and be part of the community, “he said.
“I do not think the festival needs a complete presentation now: it’s on its own course, and I’m happy about that, so let me just say that I’m grateful they’re here,” he said before leaving the stage.
The doubts about whether Redford plans to leave the leadership of Sundance could, perhaps, strengthen the path to retirement marked by the artist, who said recently that “The Old Man & the Gun” (2018) will be his last film as an actor.
Beyond the anecdote, the programming director of Sundance, Kim Yutani, wanted to make clear the intentions of her team.
“Together we have seen (for decades) thousands and thousands of films, perhaps millions, and I think that when we find something new, we recognize it at once, we are talking about new voices, a new perspective, a new way of telling a story. When we see something special, we know how important it is to take it to the public, “he argued.
In this sense, the film “After the Wedding” was commissioned to open this Thursday Sundance by the hand of great cast led by Julianne Moore, Michelle Williams and Billy Crudup.
This edition of Sundance will feature numerous stars in projects besides the “made in Hollywood” like Naomi Watts (“Luce”), Zac Efron (“Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile”), Jake Gyllenhaal (“Velvet Buzzsaw”), Viola Davis (“Troop Zero”), Keira Knightley (“Official Secrets”), Emma Thompson (“Late Night”), and Adam Driver (“The Report”).
And the documentary genre is also expected to play a leading role, especially in the film “Leaving Neverland” about the alleged abuses of minors committed by Michael Jackson.
Still with the festival heating up, Sundance received on its first day the youngest moviegoers, who, waiting for the great majority of spectators who will arrive over the weekend, shared space with the numerous ski fans that are regularly mentioned in Park City
Located at an altitude of more than 2,000 meters and with 8,400 inhabitants, this small town 53 kilometers from Salt Lake City has become an obligatory destination for the audiovisual industry, which packs its bags every year to go to Utah in the middle of the awards season. of Hollywood (the Oscars will be held just in a month).
With temperatures that are not suitable for cold drinks (the maximum on Thursday was -2 degrees and the minimum of -10), here the actors change their sunglasses for the sturdy coats and boots, the Los Angeles palm trees for the snow of Utah , and the Beverly Hills terraces on the slippery, icy streets of Park City.
But titiritar or stay almost frozen can compensate those who seek their great moment in the movies if you read the list of names that came crowned Sundance: Quentin Tarantino, Steven Soderbergh, Kevin Smith, Jim Jarmusch or Darren Aronofsky, for example.
And another king of the festival was the now defenestrado Harvey Weinstein, who with the Miramax company was key in the phenomenon of “indie” cinema but this year will be “condemned” to have only a testimonial role in Sundance: being the protagonist of the documentary “Untouchable”, which portrays his rise and fall as a producer.