Robert Redford honored by Promax/BDA

Sundance founder says art requires 'risk'

NEW YORK -- Promax/BDA honored Robert Redford with a lifetime achievement award Thursday at the group's annual conference in New York.

Jonathan Block-Verk, president of the marketing organization, praised Redford's success at developing his Sundance Institute and Sundance Film Festival into a strong industry brand.

"Robert Redford is a worldwide icon and a visionary leader who has nurtured the artistry of independent film and entertainment while promoting environmental and social responsibility, all through his Sundance brand," he said.

Before accepting the award, Redford sat down with advertising mogul Donny Deutsch to discuss his progression from actor to activist.

Citing his willingness to take risks as one of the driving forces in his success, Redford emphasized the importance of never becoming too comfortable.

"I always thought that resting on laurels was a very dangerous thing," he explained. "Art has to be accompanied by the willingness to take a risk."

Throughout the discussion, Redford rejected Deutsch's use of the word "businessman" to describe his success with the Sundance brand. Redford attributed his accomplishments to honesty, grassroots movements and the dedicated pursuit of his craft rather than business savvy.