Robert Redford is considering splitting his Sundance Film Festival into several events because the size of the annual gathering is spiralling out of control.
The Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid star co-founded the independent festival in 1978, and it has grown significantly over the past three decades, prompting complaints about traffic jams and overcrowding in Park City, Utah, where the event is held.
Redford concedes he now has to either axe the festival or make a raft of changes, and he is considering breaking Sundance up into separate events for documentaries, short films and regular features instead of showing all three categories within 10 days every January.
“I’m starting to hear some negative comments about how crowded it is and how difficult it is to get from venue to venue when there’s traffic and people in the streets and so forth… We’re going to have to look at that,” he explained, according to the Associated Press.
“As it grew, so did the crowds, so did the development in Park City. Well, at some point, if both those things continue to grow, they’re going to begin to choke each other… So then I have to think about, oh, do we now risk being who we are in the first place? Do we risk (losing) the heart and soul of what we were when we started against the odds… Do we have to now rethink things?
“You have a couple of choices. You can go hard and say we’re going to stop it. Say ‘that’s the end.’ Let it go. Let someone else do it… Or, you say well, if you want to keep it going, we can’t keep it going the way things are.”
Redford adds of his idea to split the festival into categories: “I don’t know whether that works or not… That’s just an idea that’s worming in my head.”
The 2016 Sundance Film Festival concludes on Sunday (31Jan16).