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JAN
21
3 YEARS

Sundance 2012: 'Buried' Director Unveils New Thriller 'Red Lights'

The film from Rodrigo Cortes premiered Friday night at the Eccles Theatre.

Red Lights
Robert De Niro in "Red Lights"

Following the premiere of Red Lights on Friday night at the Eccles Theatre, filmmaker Rodrigo Cortes was asked by a confused audience member during a Q&A to explain the ending to his supernatural thriller, and the query was met with applause from many in the 1,270-seat theater.

But Cortes, director of 2010 Sundance hit Buried, didn't bite, saying: "I'm afraid I won't," before adding that he wanted attendees to discuss the ending and determine for themselves what transpires and what it all is supposed to mean.

Cortes wrote and directed Red Lights, which is playing in Sundance's Premieres section and stars Robert De Niro, Cillian Murphy, Sigourney Weaver and Elizabeth Olsen

Red Lights centers on two investigators of alleged supernatural phenomena -- played by Murphy and Weaver -- who appear to meet their match in a blind healer named Simon Silver played by De Niro. But the film, which Cortes said cost between $15 million and $17 million and took 10 weeks to shoot in Barcelona and Toronto, doesn't resolve in a way that makes it clear how Silver's deception is uncovered. 

"I don't think movies should give all the answers," said Cortes.

Murphy, Olsen and Weaver joined Cortes on stage for the Q&A; Murphy said that he was attracted to the project because "it was just a brilliant script ... and to get to work with actors like this is a dream for me."

The session also had its lighthearted moments -- when one audience member asked Cortes a lengthy question about the project and how he relates to the subject matter, the director joked that the man asked: "How is it possible I am so good looking?"

"I don't exactly know what this film is about," Cortes later added.

Still, with a slew of big-name actors and a look befitting a budget of as much as $17 million, Red Lights should attract interest from buyers.

UTA is handling domestic sales for Red Lights and Parlay Films is handling foreign rights. The film next screens Saturday morning at the MARC.

Email: Daniel.Miller@THR.com

Twitter: @DanielNMiller