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Sundance announces new arthouse initiative

Sundance Institute founder Robert Redford and Festival Director Geoff Gilmore took the stage yesterday at the Kimball Art Center in Park City for the first Sundance press conference of this year’s event. Redford and Gilmore were joined by Nicole Holofcener, the director of the Festival opener FRIENDS WITH MONEY.

Redford announced a major new initiative for the Institute, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. The Sundance Institute Art House Project is collaborating with leading arthouse cinemas across the country to present a “best of” program of films that are being presented at this year’s Festival, along with classic indie films that were introduced at the event in years past.

The initiative brings the Sundance Institute to communities across the United States. The arthouse cinemas, all of which are independent film houses that are not part of corporate theater chains, include the following: Belcourt Theater (Nashville), Broadway Centre Cinemas (Salt Lake City), Coolidge Corner Theater (Boston), Enzian Theater (Orlando), Fine Arts (Asheville), International Film (Boulder), Jacob Burns Film Center (Pleasantville, NY), Michigan Theater (Ann Arbor), Oklahoma City Museum of Art (Oklahoma City), Palace Theater (Hilo, Hawaii), Pickford Theater (Bellingham, WA), the Rafael Film Center (San Rafael, CA), RagTag Cinema (Columbia) and the Railroad Square Cinemas (Waterville, Maine).

Programmers from the various theaters will work with the Institute to curate an individual program for their communities. The films will tour later this year. This follows an announcement made a few weeks ago in New York of another collaboration between the Institute and the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the country’s oldest continuing performing arts space. A program of 2006 Festival highlights and indie classics will be held at the Academy in May of this year, along with seminars and filmmaker laboratories.

"For 25 years, Sundance has been committed to building audiences for independent film, and the art house cinemas carry on our work day in and day out at the local level," Sundance Film Festival programming director John Cooper said in a prepared statement.

Sandy Mandelberger
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