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BREAKING: Sundance Shorts Phone It In

This morning at a press conference in New York, Robert Redford cleared his throat, faced the cameras and disclosed just how mind-bendingly out of control the Sundance Institute has spun in 25 years:

The organizers of the Sundance Film Festival in conjunction with the GSMA (an association of mobile phone service providers) have commissioned six independent filmmakers to create five short films, crafted exclusively for mobile distribution. All of the filmmakers participating in the project have screened films at the annual Sundance Film Festival.
"Cell phones are fast becoming the 'fourth screen' medium, after television, cinema and computers," said Sundance Institute president and founder Robert Redford. "We feel this experiment embodies fully, our quarter-century dedication to exploring new platforms to support wider distribution of independent voices in filmmaking. We are excited about bringing this opportunity to independent filmmakers and most excited to see what they will do with it," added Redford. ...
"The Global Short Film Project takes us into the realms of a uniquely intimate new medium, one which holds tremendous promise for maximising the impact and international reach of the short film genre, and in doing so serving the artists," said John Cooper, Director of Programming for the Sundance Film Festival and Creative Director for Sundance Institute, who will oversee the project.

Oh, please -- everybody knows this is just Redford's way of getting Cingular to finally stick a cell tower in his ranch. Selected filmmakers for the program include Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, Justin Lin, Maria Maggenti, Cory McAbee and Jody Hill -- all Sundance alums, some a little more "independent" than others and certainly each of them expected to be wonderful advisors for next year's Mobile Phone Auteur Lab at the Sundance Institute, a rigorous series of workshops dedicated to expertly lighting and framing your drunk, passed-out friends for future laughs and/or blackmail. That'll be a Grand Jury Prize to cherish.

Posted at November 8, 2006 1:44 PM

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