Sundance 2019 Finally Looks Like the Future, But Will Audiences Embrace It? — Analysis

Sundance 2019 Finally Looks Like the Future, But Will Audiences Embrace It? — Analysis
For 34 years, Robert Redford opened the Sundance Film Festival with a freewheeling press conference in which he juggled questions from the press. This year, after a brief introduction, he stepped aside to let the programming staff handle the hard part. The move had symbolic resonance: Redford is the Sundance’s founder and figurehead, but the festival’s reputation has evolved far beyond the long-standing appeal of the white male artist. So has the lineup.

Thirty years ago, Steven Soderbergh created the Sundance breakout with “Sex, Lies, and Videotape;” a decade later, the honor fell to Darren Aronofsky with “Pi.” While those success stories remain key aspects of the festival’s mythology, they don’t carry the same charge for audiences, or for the marketplace.

However, Sundance remains vital. Reflecting the concerns of the industry as a whole, the festival has moved beyond the notion of diversity as a buzzword to
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