Sundance London Film Fest to Kick Off in 2012

Robert Redford
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"It is our mutual goal to bring to the U.K. the very best in current American independent cinema," Robert Redford says of the joint effort between AEG Europe and the Sundance Institute.

Robert Redford is taking the Sundance brand to London, launching a new film and arts festival that will debut in April 2012.

He’s not going it alone. The Sundance Institute is teaming with AEG Europe to stage Sundance London, a four-day event that will be held in the city’s sprawling O2 entertainment district.

The inaugural edition of Sundance London will be held April 26-29th, 2012, three months after the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.

Sundance London will include screenings of titles from the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, live music performances, panels and other cultural programming. AEG owns The O2 venue.

"We are excited to partner with AEG Europe to bring a particular slice of American culture to life in the inspired setting of The O2, and in this city of such rich cultural history,” Redford said in announcing the event.

"It is our mutual goal to bring to the U.K., the very best in current American independent cinema, to introduce the artists responsible for it, and in essence help build a picture of our country that is broadly reflective of the diversity of voices not always seen in our cultural exports,” he continued.

Located in South East London, The O2 includes an indoor arena -- known as the O2 Dome -- a music club, a cinema, an exhibition space, bars and restaurants. It was built largely within the former Millennium Dome.

The Sundance Institute will curate the film component of the new festival, while AEG Europe will use its industry-leading venue and marketing teams to stage and promote music and other related events.

AEG Europe senior executive director Alex Hill said Sundance London is a natural extension of the music and sporting events held at The O2 since the venue opened in 2007.

“We look forward to extending a warm welcome to the best of the film industry in 2012,” Hill said.

In Los Angeles, Sundance Institute executive director Keri Putnam said the organization looks forward to bringing “the most exciting American films from the 2012 Sundance Film Festival” to London.

For years, Redford has bandied about the idea of expanding Sundance’s reach. Since its launch in 1978, the annual Sundance Film Festival has become the largest showcase for indie films in the U.S.