Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Sundance Film Festival
The Sundance Film Festival is a film festival in the United States, and ranks amongst the top five events of its type in the world. Held annually in Park City as well as Salt Lake City, Utah the festival is the premiere showcase for new work from American and international independent filmmakers. The festival comprises competitive sections for American and independent dramatic and documentary films, and a group of non-competitive showcase sections, including the Sundance Online Film Festival .
The festival was started in 1978 as the Utah/US Film Festival in an effort to attract more filmmakers to Utah. At the time, the main focus of the event was to present a series of retrospective films and filmmaker panel discussions; however it also included a small program of films made outside the Hollywood system.
The festival may well have ended up being nothing more than a small, regional event, but two key factors helped push it down the road to greatness. The first of these was the involvement of actor Robert Redford. Redford was a local Utah resident and became the festival's inaugural chairman of the board, and having his name associated with the festival allowed it to garner a great deal more attention that it may otherwise have been able to achieve on its own.
The second factor was the festival's move from September to January; in other words, from summer to winter. The move was reportedly on the advice of Hollywood director Sydney Pollack, who suggested that running a film festival in a ski resort during winter would result in "Hollywood beating down the door to attend".
Management of the festival was taken over by the Sundance Institute , a non-profit organization, in 1985, and in 1991 the festival was officially renamed the Sundance Film Festival. Many famous independent filmmakers, including Kevin Smith, Robert Rodriguez, Quentin Tarantino, James Wan and Jim Jarmusch had their big break at the festival. The festival is also responsible for bringing wider attention to films such as Saw, The Blair Witch Project, El Mariachi, Clerks., Sex, Lies, and Videotape, and Napoleon Dynamite.
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