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Sundance Film Festival Opens With Happy Endings in Park City

Layer Cake Premieres in Salt lake City By Keiko Beatie

Robert Redfords opening night speech gave tribute to the roots of independent filmmaking and how Sundance first started. With that, the beginning of the 24th Sundance Film Festival was open with Don Roos' new feature film, Happy Endings. This truly is a happy beginning to the festival, as this film created a deluge of interest toward the last part of 2004. On hand at the Park City event was the cast, consisting of Director Don Roos, Tom Arnold, Jesse Bradford, Bobby Cannavale, Laura Dern, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Lisa Kudrow.  Roos is well known for his films Bounce and Opposite of Sex, which screened at Sundance in the past. 

Sundance information booth
Happy Endings shares the story of a young woman who is being blackmailed for having a baby 18 years ago that she thought no one knew about. The blackmailer just happens to be a filmmaker who wants the money to attend the American Film Insitute to further his craft.  The film weaves together facets of three stories into one as the character's blend the trials and tribulations of each of their lives. Roos has the capability to play back story telling in film with intelligence and purpose. 

On Friday in Salt Lake City, another opening night screening took place with Mathew Vaughns Layer Cake, Vaughn's first crack as a feature director.  This stylized UK film takes the audience on an exhilarating ride as an action drama filled with tension.  Vaughn has been better known as the producer of the cult hit Lock Stock and Smoking Barrell and Snatch. The excitement on his debut as a director will be watched upon by fans of his past productions.

Having two opening night presentations is a demanding undertaking, but the Sundance Film Festival gives acknowledgment to the people of Salt Lake City and Utah who support the festival. The estimated commerce for the area from the festival is well over $40 million as guests come in from all over the world to participate in the 11-day festival.

The festival is looked upon as one of the premiere film festivals in the United States and with last year's festival, a record number of films were purchased by acquisitions from some of the major film studios. Besides the American Film Market that takes place in Santa Monica, Sundance is a catch of independent films that studios consider a cornucopia of choices for distribution.

Jeff Gilmore, director of Sundance Film Festival
Sundance Film Festival will take place from January 20-30, 2005 in Park City and Salt Lake City Utah. While attracting more than 60,000 people to this lovely ski resort.  During the year Park City is home to 7,400 residents and is considered a world class ski resort, but the last weeks of January, three out of five visitors will never set foot on the sloops of the mountain as they are busy watching films. Or if theyre not viewing films they come to watch the celebrities and try to hob-knob with the stars on Main Street. During the festival the streets of Park City turn into a mini Hollywood Blvd. as Sundance Film Festival has in store for these next eleven days more than 250 films from across the world. 

Founded by Robert Redford in 1981, Sundance Institute is dedicated to the development of artists of independent vision and the exhibition of their new work. Since its inception, the Institute has grown into an internationally recognized resource for filmmakers and other artists. Sundance Institute conducts national and international labs for filmmakers, screenwriters, composers, writers, and theatre artists. 

The annual Sundance Film Festival, a major program of Sundance Institute, is held each January and is considered the premier showcase for American and international independent film. The Institute supports nonfiction filmmakers through the Documentary Film Program by providing year-round support through the Sundance Documentary Fund and a series of programs that nurture their growth, encourage the exploration of innovative nonfiction storytelling, and promote the exhibition of documentary films to a broader audience. Through the Sundance Institute Theatre Program, the Institute is committed to invigorating the national theatre movement with original and creative work and to nurturing the diversity of artistic expression among theatre artists.  The Institute also maintains The Sundance Collection at UCLA, a unique archive of independent film.

For more information on the Sundance Film Festival, please go to the website at




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Related Keywords:24th Sundance Film Festival , Robert Redford

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