January 11, 2009

Redford downplays Sundance concerns

Actor Robert Redford said he is not concerned about the possibility that his Sundance Film Festival in Utah may see limited attendance this year.

The 72-year-old festival founder said while the recession could potentially limit the number of festival-goers, he remains focused on offering those who do attend the best movies available, The Salt Lake Tribune reported Saturday.

I'm not going to be bothered if there's a reduced attendance, Redford said. I'm focused on, 'What are the films being shown? And what do they represent?'

The Sundance festival starts Thursday in Park City, Utah, and runs until Jan. 25. There have been doubts that this year's festival will match the festival's final 2008 attendance mark of 45,056 visitors, who helped boost the Utah economy by $63.3 million.

Sundance Institute Director of Development Emily Laskin said the most recognizable impact of the current economic woes nationwide on the 2009 festival has been in sponsorship.

We did see (sponsors) take a little longer to really look at their contracts, think about what they were getting, Laskin told the Tribune. Things that might have been more automatic in years past were really thoughtfully vetted.