Hello, Park City--and Robert Redford

By staff January 19, 2007

Reporting from the Sundance Film Festival on Friday, Jan. 19.


Robert Redford helped get the 2007 Sundance Film Festival off to a passionately political start last night.

Seeing Red-ford: Sundance festival founder Robert Redford
introduced the opening- night film, Chicago 10, a
documentary about protestors during the Vietnam War, with
some heated remarks about the war in Iraq.


The president and founder of the Sundance Institute, Redford introduced the opening-night film, the documentary Chicago 10. The film deals with the Vietnam War protesters who were prosecuted for leading a massive anti-war rally in Chicago during the 1968 Democratic convention.


Debuting only a week after President Bush announced a "surge' of American forces in Iraq, the film couldn't have been more timely.


"This film is about another time when young people raised their voices in protest of what they felt was wrong and put themselves in harm's way," Redford said from the stage of the 2,500-seat Eccles Theater in Park city, Utah.

Winter magic: It wasn't snowing today in downtown Park City, but the streets were jammed with film lovers, industry insiders and a scattering of celebrities.


Redford noted that six years ago, after 9-11, he stood on the same stage and pledged support in a time of healing. "Some of us who had issues or questions, we put our voices on hold in the interest of unity...Now we can reflect on that. I'll leave it to you to decide how you feel about it, but I think we are owed a big, massive apology."


The sold-out audience erupted in applause.


I got to Park City, a cozy ski resort about 30 minutes up the mountain from Salt Lake City, later than expected yesterday. My Delta flight sat on the tarmac in Atlanta for two and a half hours because of an ice storm.


The weather here, though, is sunny and gorgeous, with temps in the 30s. I just grabbed lunch and walked Historic Main Street with Jody Kielbasa, the executive director of the Sarasota Film Festival. He and several other Sarasota fest staffers are in town to do some networking and to attend screenings of films they hope to bring to Sarasota in April.

In fact, earlier this morning, Jody and I watched Away From Her, a poignant film about Alzheimer’s, starring Julie Christie. Jody plans to show it at the Sarasota Festival.


Tonight I’m going to a public screening of another film. The press usually watches the films in smaller venues, but I want to see what the crowd and the atmosphere are like at the public screening. More about that in my next post.



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