Sundance: Wendi Murdoch Touts New Doc, Stays Mum on Ex Rupert Murdoch's Engagement

Wendi Murdoch

With her documentary 'Sky Ladder: The Art of Cai Guo-Qiang' making its world premiere, the producer opened up about how she became involved in the project about the titular Chinese superstar artist.

Minutes before her documentary Sky Ladder: The Art of Cai Guo-Qiang made its world premiere Jan. 21 as part of Sundance 2016’s Opening Night festivities, producer Wendi Murdoch opened up about how she became involved in the project about the titular Chinese superstar artist, who is more recognizable in her native country than Star Wars.

“I love art, and I collect art and I wanted to be supportive,” said the New York-based Murdoch, who was at the festival for the first time ever. “Also, I found his story to be so interesting and fascinating. His art is so inspiring and big and loud. And yet he’s so humble, despite the fact that he’s so successful.”

Directed by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Kevin Macdonald (One Day in September), the film follows the artist, who uses gunpowder to create his ambitious signature pieces, like the six-mile-long fuse stemming from the Great Wall into the Gobi Desert or the jaw-dropping opening and closing ceremonies of the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics. Told through the artist's own words and those of his family, friends and observers, Sky Ladder tracks his meteoric rise and examines how and why he engineers artworks that stretch as far as the eye can see and wow millions.

Murdoch produced Sky Ladder with Fisher Stevens and Hugo Shong.

For Murdoch, Sundance represents one of the most important bastions of women in film given that the paltry representation of female directors and producers in Hollywood.

“I’m so honored to be here at the festival because there are so many female filmmakers,” Murdoch said of the festival that champions female directors and producers. “I’m really proud to be a part of that.”

Still, there was one hot topic that Murdoch wouldn’t touch, that of her ex-husband Rupert Murdoch’s recently announced engagement to Jerry Hall. When asked about the future Mrs. Murdoch, she demurred. “I’m here tonight to promote a film and I just want to talk about the film tonight.”

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