Sundance Film Festival comes to London.

By Lussorian’s roving reporter – Toby Rose

The legendary alternative film festival arrived at London`s 02 from its snowy mountaintop USA perch. And it was graced with royalty. Hollywood royalty in the shape of Robert Redford, and the House of Windsor version – HRH the Prince of Wales.

`Sundance London marked our first time hosting an event in the UK, and we are grateful to all our supporters and collaborators for the reception we received. These four days have seen features, documentaries and live events with insightful filmmakers and musicians, as well as passionate audiences in attendance.` Said Robert Redford, President & Founder of Sundance Institute,


Musically themed, the festival showcased the vital contribution of the musical score to the cinema experience. And it was not just theory. The Q and A with Robert Redford was hosted by Nick Hornby, whose novels include High Fidelity which is a tribute to the music fan. His fellow guest was soundtrack legend T Bone Burnett who is known for his atmospheric musicial scores notably for the Coen Brothers, O Brother.

Sharing the stage with the Hollywood legends was the band, the Guillemots. In tribute to the star guest of the evening and founder of Sundance they performed a choppy up-tempo version of ‘Raindrops Keep Fallin` On My Head’ – the signature theme of `Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid. Very fitting.

Other musos in attendance included musical siblings Martha and Rufus Wainwright. The singer once created an entire stage show around an homage to Judy Garland. You don`t get more Tinsel Town than that!


The festival closed with an intimate performance by Rufus and Martha Wainwright following the World Premiere of Sing Me The Songs That Say I Love You ~ A Concert for Kate McGarrigle, Lian Lunson`s film about the music of their mother, folk singer Kate McGarrigle

Sundance in London brought to a local audience many of the highlights of this year`s Sundance in Utah. One of the big favourites was `Queen of Versailles` which told of the story of a billionaire brought low by the credit crunch. The documentary told the bitter sweet story of how his lavish plans to create a Versailles style home turned to dust.

On a more serious note was `Chasing Ice` a dramatic documentary about the pioneering work of photographer James Balog who charted the retreating glaciers of Greenland, Iceland and Alaska. His efforts to position to motion capture cameras in some of the wildest and most beautiful locations in the world were breathtaking. Aside from this dramatic landscape there was the personal courage of James Balog who was battling with a knee injury.

Sundance was a showcase of the cream of the Sundance crop. A welcome and exciting arrival on the festival circuit.

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