Robert Redford’s Sundance Institute and Europe’s AEG Entertainment group have teamed up to bring the Sundance Film Festival to London’s O2 district next year. The Sundance Film Festival, America’s largest and most successful indie film expo, will head across the pond from April 26-29, three months after the festival’s annual run in Park City, Utah.
Redford says of the move, “It is our mutual goal to bring to the U.K., the very best in current American independent cinema, to introduce the artists responsible for it, and in essence help build a picture of our country that is broadly reflective of the diversity of voices not always seen in our cultural exports.”
For more info on Sundance: London, hit the jump.
Along with movie screenings, Sundance promises to include live musical performances, panels and more. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Sundance is going to take care of the movie side of the event while AEG handles the marketing of the event.
Sundance’s inaugural exhibition in England will take place in London’s O₂ entertainment district which is owned by AEG. The O₂ combines a concert arena, night clubs, fine dining and most importantly for Sundance, an 11-screen movie theater. It’s kind of like Universal City Walk, except under an enormous bubble dome.
It’s surprising to me that it’s taken this long to stretch Sundance into international locations. The festival has been around since 1978 and is easily on par with Cannes as far as name recognition goes. Moving to England is a no-brainer. The new overseas dates will also offer the filmmakers in Sundance more publicity and presumably more chances to pick up a distributor which is great.
I am a bit surprised because it sounds as if Sundance in England will continue to focus solely on American films. With the notoriety that the Sundance brand has, I feel like the festival is missing an opportunity to take advantage of the European indie market. While Sundance is well-known for being the measuring stick of American indie film, if I was a Brit attending Sundance in the O₂, I would like to see something British represented at the festival. Distributors like to see how a movie plays for an audience, and a British film would probably play better in front of British audiences than its American counterpart. However, if Sundance: London takes off, don’t be surprised to see the festival continue to stretch into other international markets like France or Germany.