Redford speaks up for freedom of speech

- Give Up Coffee For Beautiful Breasts
- Welcome to your First Trimester
- Welcome to your Second Trimester
- Welcome to your Third Trimester

The Sundance Film Festival opened on Thursday with movie legend Robert Redford proclaiming it a safe haven for freedom of expression, in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris.

Redford, 78, said the deadly cartoonist shootings were a "wake-up event" for all who believe in the right to free speech, including film-makers gathered for the 11-day independent cinema showcase.

He vowed that the festival, which features edgy and sometimes provocative films as opposed to more mainstream Hollywood movies, would be a "safe place" for all films, regardless whom they offend.

"We believe in diversity, and freedom of expression is very much fundamental to us... You see a lot of films here that are going to upset other people, but that is okay, it's diversity."

Of the Paris attacks, he said: "That was a sad event, it was a shocking event. I also have a hunch it was a bit of a wake-up event," adding that "to try to create a safe place for film-makers... is what I think Sundance represents."

About 200 films will be screened at the festival, held annually at the Utah ski resort of Park City, and now in its 31st year, till Feb 1.

The schedule kicked off with What Happened, Miss Simone?, a biopic of jazz legend Nina Simone using previously unreleased footage to tell her story of musical genius and tortured melancholy.

Also up on Thursday were screenings of How To Change The World, about the birth of environmental giants Greenpeace, and a documentary about the tough life of a former star gymnast, The Bronze.

Future film-making stars are regularly born at Sundance, which Redford famously named after his character in the 1969 classic Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid.

Boyhood and Whiplash, for example, which debuted at the festival, won Golden Globes this month and have multiple nominations for this year's Academy Awards.

Yesterday, A Walk In The Woods, based on the book by travel writer Bill Bryson and about a long-distance hike along America's Appalachian Trail, was to screen. It stars Redford, Nick Nolte and Emma Thompson.

On Thursday, Redford said he long had a rule that his own movies would not feature at Sundance - but he said festival director John Cooper defied him this year.

"He went out of bounds," he said.

He also spoke about the blurring of lines between television and film businesses.

"I started in television," he said, answering an audience question about the two mediums.

"I'm a big fan of television. Mainstream film is shrinking; it's harder and harder for an artist to find his way in the film business," he added. "My impression is television is advancing faster than major film-making."

Movies set to screen include Going Clear: Scientology And The Prison Of Belief, which is Oscar-winner Alex Gibney's expose of the group, based on a book by Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Lawrence Wright; and Last Days In The Desert, in which Ewan McGregor stars as Jesus - and the Devil - in an imagined biblical chapter from his 40 days of fasting and praying in the desert.

- Ip Man actor suspected to have died of overdose
- Gucci appoints new creative director
- Israeli nabbed for Madonna hacks
- Diversity not a Hollywood norm
- The Clash bassist turns painter
- Celebrities back campaign to free Guantanamo diarist
- Marilyn Manson still bleak, but now has the blues
- Critics target American Sniper
- Blackhat bombs at US box office
- Bjork to release album after online leak
Top Search
- Losing Weight In A Week With Honey
- Foods That Cause Miscarriage
- 9 Bad Habits That Can Cause Miscarriage
- Grape Is Pregnant Women’s Friend
- What Is Placenta Calcification
- 7 Kinds Of Fruit That Pregnant Women Shouldn’t Eat
- Do Not Miss Sugarcane Juice In Pregnancy
Top 10
- Omega 3 fatty acids – what’s all the fuss about ? (part 3) - DHA supplements
- Omega 3 fatty acids – what’s all the fuss about ? (part 2) - Docosahexaenoic acid
- Omega 3 fatty acids – what’s all the fuss about ? (part 1) - The science bit, Alpha linolenic acid
- Your Pregnancy After 35 : Labor and Delivery (part 15) - When You’re Overdue
- Your Pregnancy After 35 : Labor and Delivery (part 14) - Baby’s Birth Presentation
- Healthy Recipes for a Vegan Pregnancy : Sides (part 17) - Caramelized Baby Carrots, Roasted Garlic, Zucchini, and Onions
- Chocolate Covered Naartjies - Cauliflower Carpaccio With Watercress And Almond Dressing - Avocado Mousse Topped With Cauliflower And Bacon Crumbs (part 2)
- RECIPE Orange Cointreau jellies : Golden dessert to beat the glut
- BBQ Chicken Around The World (Part 2) - Beer can chicken
- Healthy Recipes for a Vegan Pregnancy : Vegan Breakfasts (part 8) - Vegan Crepes, Tofu Florentine, Quick Hollandaise Sauc uick Hollandaise Sauce, Potato Poblano Breakfast Burritos
- Midweek Meals - These Dishes Promise Smooth Sailing (Part 2) - Lemon and thyme lamb with warm pumpkin salad
- Grill Happy Healthy Family Dinners (Part 5) - Pork and plum skewers
- Healthy Recipes for a Vegan Pregnancy : Soups and Stews (part 4) - Ten-Minute Cheater’s Chili, Thai Tom Kha Coconut Soup , Cold Spanish Gazpacho with Avocado
- Winter Favourites New Ideas Cooking (Part 2) - Mac ’n’ cheese with pumpkin
- Celebrate Christmas Soon In July (part 2) - Roast pumpkin, fennel & brussels sprouts
- Healthy Recipes for a Vegan Pregnancy : Desserts (part 6) - Foolproof Vegan Fudge, Cocoa-Nut-Coconut No-Bake Cookies , Cheater’s Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes
- Budget Meal Planner For This Week (Part 1) - Monday - Spinach & Sausage Penne
- Budget Meal Planner For This Week (Part 5) - Friday - Rendang Beef Noodles
- Homegrown Treasures Time To Harvest (Part 2) - Beetroot & shallot tatins
- Get To Know Your Salad (part 2) - Greens & Berry Salad