Robert Redford the Sundance Kid shoots down a PM 'in trouble'

Robert Redford says PM has underestimated public appetite for innovative film-making

Who would movie-goers rather trust behind the camera, David Cameron or Robert Redford?

The screen legend accused the Prime Minister of underestimating the public appetite for innovative films after Mr Cameron called on UK producers to focus their efforts on backing mainstream, potential hits.

Redford, 75, criticised Mr Cameron's "narrow" view of British film, when he launched Sundance London, the first foreign offshoot of his annual Utah showcase for independent cinema, credited with discovering directors including Quentin Tarantino and Steven Soderbergh.

Speaking at the O2 Arena, which will host a selection of films, discussions and musical performances during the four day event, the Sting star was asked if he agreed with Mr Cameron's recent appeal, before a visit to Pinewood studios, for UK producers to "try to support more commercially viable pictures".

"No," replied the Sundance Institute founder. "That may be why he's in trouble," joked Redford, referring to the Coalition’s recent difficulties.

He added: "I don’t want to say it speaks to the man but that view, I think, is a very narrow one, and doesn't speak to the broad category of film makers and artists in the business. And it doesn’t speak to audiences either."

Directors criticised the Prime Minister’s call for more money to be targeted at potential money-spinners like The King’s Speech, since it is notoriously difficult to predict box office hits.

Redford said Sundance had showcased a variety of British independent films from An Education, Carey Mulligan’s 2009 breakthrough, to Four Weddings And A Funeral.

He said: "I started in my career working in large Hollywood films but it didn’t satisfy the need I had for films which where more risky. When we started Sundance it was basically to enlarge the category of film to include those people that might be shut out by the mainstream thinking. There is a hunger for these kinds of film."

Redford will join the Prince of Wales at Sundance London on Saturday for the premiere of Harmony, a documentary narrated by Prince Charles, which sets out his plan for a sustainable future for the planet.

The film has been described as the Prince's version of An Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore’s campaigning film and features an interview with the former vice president.

Redford said he and the Prince had long shared a passion over the issue of environmental sustainability. “I met with him last Spring to discuss a the idea of how we could work that into our festival. It seemed like a natural fit that Sundance could support his film in his country.”

The actor also revealed he was opposed to including the hit song Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head in the 1969 film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid which teamed him up with Paul Newman for the first time.

The song is used in a famous scene where Newman shares a bicycle with co-star Katherine Ross. Redford said: “The music played a huge role. I didn't see it at the time because I thought it was stupid.

"Suddenly there was a scene where the guy was singing Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head and it isn't even raining and I thought 'Jesus, what?'. Well, how wrong was I?"

He warned against the technological advances of 3D and IMAX overshadowing the traditional craft of storytelling. ”I think technology has probably gotten a little too far, too fast,“ Redford said. "I'm not a particular fan of 3D at the moment. My feeling right now is probably things have gone too far, at some great cost by the way. Time will tell whether it really works or not, I’m not sure it will."

Sundance London highlights include a live performances from Rufus Wainwright and his sister Martha following the premiere of a documentary about their mother, the folk singer Kate McGarrigle, on Sunday.

Although offering only a selection of 14 films and 8 shorts, handpicked from the 2012 January Utah festival programme, Redford hopes that Sundance London will become an annual event.

Arts and Entertainment
Word master: Self holds up a copy of his novel ‘Umbrella’
books
Arts and Entertainment
Hare’s a riddle: Kit Williams with the treasure linked to Masquerade
books
Arts and Entertainment
The man with the golden run: Daniel Craig as James Bond in 'Skyfall'

TV
Arts and Entertainment
'Waving Seal' by Luke Wilkinson was Highly Commended in the Portraits category

photography
Arts and Entertainment
The eyes have it: Kate Bush
music
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Art
Arts and Entertainment
Diana Beard, nicknamed by the press as 'Dirty Diana'

Bake Off
Arts and Entertainment
The X Factor 2014 judges: Simon Cowell, Cheryl Cole, Mel B and Louis Walsh

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace was caught by a camera van driving 32mph over the speed limit

TV
Arts and Entertainment
books
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and the Dalek meet
tvReview: Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Arts and Entertainment
Star turns: Montacute House
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Iain reacts to his GBBO disaster

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Outlaw Pete is based on an eight-minute ballad from Springsteen’s 2009 Working on a Dream album

books
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012

film
Arts and Entertainment
Simon Cowell is less than impressed with the Strictly/X Factor scheduling clash

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Gothic revival: artist Dave McKean’s poster for Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination
Exhibition
Arts and Entertainment
Diana Beard has left the Great British Bake Off 2014

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Lisa Kudrow, Courtney Cox and Jennifer Anniston reunite for a mini Friends sketch on Jimmy Kimmel Live

TV
Arts and Entertainment
TVDessert week was full of the usual dramas as 'bingate' ensued
Arts and Entertainment
Clara and the twelfth Doctor embark on their first adventure together
TVThe regulator received six complaints on Saturday night
Arts and Entertainment
Vinyl demand: a factory making the old-style discs
musicManufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl
Arts and Entertainment
David Baddiel concedes his show takes its inspiration from the hit US series 'Modern Family'
comedyNew comedy festival out to show that there’s more to Jewish humour than rabbi jokes
Arts and Entertainment
Puff Daddy: One Direction may actually be able to use the outrage to boost their credibility

music
Arts and Entertainment
Suha Arraf’s film ‘Villa Touma’ (left) is set in Ramallah and all the actresses are Palestinian

film
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

    'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

    US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
    Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

    A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

    Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
    Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

    James Frey's literary treasure hunt

    Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
    Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

    Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

    What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
    Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

    Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

    Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
    Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

    The big names to look for this fashion week

    This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
    Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

    'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

    Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
    Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

    Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

    Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
    Al Pacino wows Venice

    Al Pacino wows Venice

    Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
    Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

    Neil Lawson Baker interview

    ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
    The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

    The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

    Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
    The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

    The model for a gadget launch

    Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
    Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

    She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

    Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
    Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

    Get well soon, Joan Rivers

    She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
    Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

    A fresh take on an old foe

    Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering