Redford Says Film Industry Unhealthy, Hurt by Slump

Robert Redford said today the movie industry is in poor health, mostly because of the economic slump, and independent titles struggle to get made and shown.

“The state of the film business in general is not particularly healthy,” Redford said at a London media briefing for the second U.K. edition of his Sundance Film Festival. “Independent film has always had to struggle for a place in the universe.”

“Overall, mostly due to the economy, it’s difficult,” he said.

Sundance is giving U.K. audiences the chance to see 21 movies and documentaries and attend concerts by Greg Allman and Peaches.

The Eagles will also be in London for a question-and-answer session after the screening of the documentary “History of the Eagles -- Part One.”

“We’re not paying for them to come,” said Redford, emphasizing that Sundance is a non-profit organization.

The original Sundance Festival was started in 1978 as a springboard for alternative moviemaking, and takes place every January in snowy Park City, Utah. In London, it’s held at the O2, a giant concert arena with cinemas, bars, restaurants and exhibition spaces.

Redford said last year’s inaugural London event was “a toe-in-the-water experiment” that was deliberately kept small (four days instead of a week). It went well, he said, and the festival’s London host -- AEG Europe, the sports and entertainment company that operates the O2 -- invited Sundance back.

The festival, which starts tomorrow and ends April 28, also features the U.K. premiere of “Mud” (starring Matthew McConaughey) and the international premiere of “Running from Crazy,” in which Ernest Hemingway’s granddaughter Mariel explores her family’s history of suicide and mental illness.

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Muse highlights include Ryan Sutton on New York dining, Jeremy Gerard on New York theater and Rich Jaroslovsky on technology.

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