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Getting an indIe film made has always been an uphill struggle, but at least there’s the downhill skiing at Sundance to enjoy. This wasn’t always the case, however. In 1969, avid skier Robert Redford, then in his early 30s, bought a resort near Provo, Utah — now home of the Sundance Institute — with earnings from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and Downhill Racer. Nine years later, the tiny Utah/US Film Festival, forerunner of the Sundance fest, launched with little fanfare, and skiing wasn’t part of the mix — it was held in Salt Lake City in the summer. Redford was the inaugural chairman; his connection was with in-law and key founding player Sterling Van Wagenen.
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