Cameron should stick to politics, says Redford


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The Independent Online

Who would filmgoers rather trust behind the camera, David Cameron or Robert Redford?

The screen legend has 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 such directors as Quentin Tarantino.

Speaking at the O2 Arena, which will host a selection of films, discussions and musical performances during the four-day event, he 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: "That view, I think, is a very narrow one, and doesn't speak to the broad category of filmmakers 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 such as The King's Speech, since it is notoriously difficult to predict hits.

Redford said Sundance had showcased a variety of British independent films from An Education, in 2009, to Four Weddings and a Funeral.

"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 said.