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définition - Sundance_Film_Festival

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Sundance Film Festival

Sundance Film Festival
Location Park City, Utah, United States
Language International

The Sundance Film Festival is an American film festival that takes place annually in Utah. It is the largest independent cinema festival in the United States.[1] Held in January in Park City, Salt Lake City, and Ogden, as well as at the Sundance Resort, the festival is a showcase for new work from American and international independent filmmakers. The festival comprises competitive sections for American and international dramatic and documentary films, both feature-length films and short films, and a group of out-of-competition sections, including NEXT, New Frontier, Spotlight, and Park City At Midnight.



  Utah/US Film Festival

Sundance began in Salt Lake City in August 1978, as the Utah/US Film Festival in an effort to attract more filmmakers to Utah. It was founded by Sterling Van Wagenen (then head of Wildwood, Robert Redford's company), John Earle, and Cirina Hampton Catania (both serving on the Utah Film Commission at the time). The 1978 festival featured films such as Deliverance, A Streetcar Named Desire, Midnight Cowboy, Mean Streets, and The Sweet Smell of Success. [2] With Chairperson Robert Redford, and the help of Governor Scott M. Matheson of Utah, the goal of the festival was to showcase strictly American-made films, highlight the potential of independent film, and to increase visibility for filmmaking in Utah. At the time, the main focus of the event was to conduct a competition for independent American films, present a series of retrospective films and filmmaker panel discussions, and to celebrate the Frank Capra Award. The festival also highlighted the work of regional filmmakers who worked outside the Hollywood system.

The jury of the 1978 festival was headed by Gary Allison, and included Verna Fields, Linwood G. Dunn, Katharine Ross, Charles E. Sellier Jr., Mark Rydell, and Anthea Sylbert.

In 1979, Sterling Van Wagenen left to head up the first year "pilot" program of what was to become the Sundance Institute, and Cirina Hampton Catania took over as executive director of the festival. Over 60 films were screened at the festival that year, and panels featured many well-known Hollywood filmmakers. Also that year, the first Frank Capra Award went to Jimmy Stewart. The festival also made a profit for the first time. In 1980, Catania left the festival to pursue a production career in Hollywood.

Several factors helped propel the growth of Utah/US Film Festival. First was the involvement of actor and Utah resident Robert Redford, who became the festival's inaugural chairman. By having Redford's name associated with Sundance, the festival received great attention. Secondly, the country was hungry for more venues that would celebrate American-made films as the only other festival doing so at the time was the USA Film Festival in Dallas (est. 1971). Response in Hollywood was unprecedented as major studios did all they could to contribute their resources.

In 1981, the festival moved to Park City, Utah, and changed the dates from September to January. The move from late summer to mid-winter was reportedly[by whom?] done on the advice of Hollywood director Sydney Pollack, who suggested that running a film festival in a ski resort during winter would draw more attention from Hollywood.

  Change to Sundance

In 1984–85, the now well-established Sundance Institute, headed by Sterling Van Wagenen, took over management of the US Film Festival and changed the name to Sundance. Gary Beer and Sterling Van Wagenen spearheaded production of the inaugural Sundance Film Festival, which included Program Director Tony Safford and Administrative Director Jenny Walz Selby. The branding and marketing transition from the U.S. Film Festival to the Sundance Film Festival was managed under the direction of Colleen Allen, Allen Advertising Inc., by appointment of Robert Redford.

  Sundance London

In March 2011, Robert Redford announced that the Sundance Film Festival would be held at The O2, in London from 26th – 29th April 2012, the first time it has travelled outside the United States.

Speaking to the press, Redford said, "We are excited to partner with AEG Europe to bring a particular slice of American culture to life in the inspired setting of The O2, and in this city of such rich cultural history. [...] It is our mutual goal to bring to the UK, 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."

The majority of the film screenings, including the festival's premieres, will be held within the Cineworld cinema.[3]

  Sundance Institute

Management of the festival was taken over by the Sundance Institute, a non-profit organization, in 1985. In 1991 the festival was officially renamed the Sundance Film Festival, after Redford's character The Sundance Kid from the movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.[4]

From 2006 through 2008, the Sundance Institute collaborated with the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) on a special series of film screenings, performances, panel discussions, and special events bringing the institute's activities and the festival's programming to New York City.[5]

  Notability of festivals

Many famous independent filmmakers received their big break at Sundance, including Kevin Smith, Robert Rodriguez, Quentin Tarantino, Todd Field, Steve James, Paul Thomas Anderson, Steven Soderbergh, Darren Aronofsky, James Wan, Edward Burns, and Jim Jarmusch. The festival is also responsible for bringing wider attention to such films as Saw, Garden State, Super Troopers, The Blair Witch Project, Better Luck Tomorrow, Primer, Reservoir Dogs, In the Bedroom, Little Miss Sunshine, El Mariachi, Moon, Clerks, Thank You for Smoking, Sex, Lies, and Videotape, The Brothers McMullen, and Napoleon Dynamite.

Three Seasons was the first in festival history to ever receive both the Grand Jury Award and Audience Award, in 1999. Later films that won both awards are: God Grew Tired of Us in 2006 (documentary category), Quinceañera in 2006 (dramatic category), and Precious in 2009.

At the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, 9 films went on to garner 15 Oscar nominations,[6] and 4 of the 5 Best Documentary nominees were Sundance films.[7] The next year, about 45 films were acquired by distributors (the most ever[8]) vs. 14 in 2010, an increase of about 220%.[9] Tom Hall of indieWire said it marked "a return to the glory days of pure, unadulterated content speculation."[10]

  Growth of the festival

The festival has changed over the decades from a low-profile venue for small-budget, independent creators from outside the Hollywood system to a media extravaganza for Hollywood celebrity actors, paparazzi, and luxury lounges set up by companies not affiliated with Sundance. Festival organizers have tried curbing these activities in recent years, beginning in 2007 with their ongoing "Focus On Film" campaign.

Included in the changes made in 2010, a new programming category, "NEXT," is for extremely low-budget films. Another change includes the Sundance Film Festival U.S.A. program, in which eight of the festival's films will be shown in eight theaters around the country.[11]


  • Geoff Gilmore – 1991–2009[12][13]
  • John Cooper — March 2009[14]

  In popular culture

In August 1998, the animated television series South Park episode "Chef's Chocolate Salty Balls" depicts the directors of the Sundance Festival moving it to a "different small mountain town," that of the show's main setting South Park, in order to "drain it and morph it into a new LA."

In the television series Entourage, one of the independent movies which Vincent Chase stars in (Queens Boulevard) premieres at the Sundance Film Festival, where it begins to gain in popularity.

In animated television series The Simpsons episode "Any Given Sundance," Lisa Simpson enters a documentary about her family into the Sundance Film Festival.

In Season 7, Episode 22 of One Tree Hill, Julian Baker takes his film 'Seven Days Till Tuesday' to the festival.

  See also



  1. ^ The Associated Press (January 18, 2006). "Sundance Mixed With Stars, Politicians". via Yahoo! News. http://movies.yahoo.com/mv/sundance/news/aps/20060118/113762388000.html. Retrieved 2007-11-11. [dead link]
  2. ^ Sundance-A Festival Virgin's Guide: History of the Sundance Film Festival; www.sundanceguide.net/basics/history
  3. ^ "Robert Redford, Sundance Institute and AEG Europe launch Sundance London at The O2". Sundance London. http://www.sundance-london.com/news/20110315-sundance-london-announced-at-the-o2. Retrieved 19 January 2012. 
  4. ^ Lauren David Peden (December 2005). "Sundance Subdued". Freedom Orange County Information (coastmagazine.com). Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. http://web.archive.org/web/20070927202623/http://www.coastmagazine.com/archive/pre_dec05/travel_sundance.html. Retrieved 2007-11-11. 
  5. ^ "Sundance Mixed With Stars, Politicians". BAM. http://www.bam.org/sundance/index_2007.aspx. Retrieved 2007-11-11. 
  6. ^ Dana Harris (January 25, 2011). "The 15 Oscar Nominees That Came Out of Sundance 2010". indieWire. http://www.indiewire.com/article/the_14_oscar_nominees_that_came_out_of_sundance/. Retrieved February 4, 2011. 
  7. ^ Peter Knegt (February 3, 2011). "For Your Consideration: Sundance and Next Year’s Oscars". indieWire. http://www.indiewire.com/article/for_your_consideration_sundance_and_next_years_oscars1/. Retrieved February 4, 2011. 
  8. ^ Jada Yuan (January 30, 2011). "Like Crazy’s Big Win, and Other Highlights From the Sundance Awards Ceremony". New York. http://nymag.com/daily/entertainment/2011/01/sundance_2.html?imw=Y&f=most-viewed-24h5. Retrieved February 4, 2011. 
  9. ^ Alicia Rancilio (January 30, 2011). "Redford relieved this year's Sundance is ending". Associated Press. http://www.seattlepi.com/movies/1402ap_us_sundance_robert_redford.html. Retrieved February 4, 2011. 
  10. ^ Tom Hall (January 29, 2011). "Sundance 2011". indieWire. http://blogs.indiewire.com/twhalliii/archives/2011/01/29/sundance_2011_the_market_is_now_open/. Retrieved February 4, 2011. 
  11. ^ "Redford launches 2010 Sundance Film Festival in Park City". The Daily Herald. 2010. http://heraldextra.com/news/local/article_38fab10a-0120-5c9a-bec2-b0c13dc56df8.html. Retrieved 2010-01-22. 
  12. ^ Jeremy Kay (2009) John Cooper steps up as director of Sundance Film Festival, 11 March 2009, ScreenDaily.com. Retrieved on 2010-01-31.
  13. ^ Michael Cieply (2009) Shakeup in Film Festivals as a Familiar Face Moves, 17 February 2009, The New York Times. Retrieved on 2010-01-31.
  14. ^ Sundance Institute (2009) Sundance Institute announces John Cooper as Director, Sundance Film Festival, Press release, 11 March 2009, www.sundance.org. Retrieved on 2010-01-31.

2. Benjamin Craig, "Sundance-A Festival Virgin's Guide: History of the Sundance Film Festival," www.sundanceguide.net/basics/history

  Further reading

  • Biskind, Peter. Down and Dirty Pictures: Miramax, Sundance, and the Rise of Independent Film. Simon & Schuster, 2004.
  • Smith, Lory. Party in a Box: The Story of the Sundance Film Festival . Gibbs Smith Publishers, 1999.
  • Craig, Benjamin. Sundance — A Festival Virgin's Guide. Cinemagine Media Publishing, 2004.
  • Anderson, John. Sundancing: Hanging Out And Listening In At America's Most Important Film Festival. Harper Paperbacks, 2000.

  External links



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