Dennis Cooper, director of the Sundance Film Festival, has been seen putting the finishing touches on a Sundance spin-off event that will take place in London. The inaugural Sundance London will start on April 26 at AEG Europe’s O2 complex and will run for four days.
The Sundance London event will include screenings of American-made films and documentaries, a live music series and performances by British trip-hop artist Tricky, Rufus and Martha Wainwright.
Cooper said, “It’s been pretty intense. But if we’re going to do it, we’re going to dive in.”
Sundance London is the Sundance Institutes effort to broaden its reach beyond Salt Lake City. In addition to it’s foray in London, Sundance and its partners have held directing and screenwriting workshops in Turkey, Jordan, Kenya, India and China. As the Sundance Film Festival continues to face increased competition by other festivals such as South by Southwest and Tribeca, the institute is forced into implementing more aggressive growth strategies.
Eugene Hernandez, former editor of IndieWire.com and current director of digital strategy at the Film Soceity of Lincoln Center, said, “To me, London feels like the latest skirmish in a battle to be the leading brand for a type of American film. Sundance had to get there before Robert De Niro [co-founder of Tribeca Film Festival] did.”
Sundance has revenue of approximately $24.3 million and employs around 110 people per year in New York, Utah and California.
Sundance London, which will be sponsored by Sony Entertainment Network and others, is a partnership between Sundance Institute, AEG Europe and Robert Redford’s for-profit Sundance Enterprises. Ticket sales are reportedly, “solid and steadily building.”
According to Cooper, the final Sundance London program includes 14 feature-length films and eight shorts.