Robert Redford, Kenneth Cole and the Sundance Institute
"Sundance Institute is an international not-for-profit incubator for the development and presentation of original stories for the screen and stage. They provide independent artists a space to explore their stories free from commercial pressures, and they present the Sundance Film Festival, a platform to take their works to a global audience.
"The Institute is where film and theatre artists find access to creative professionals as mentors, and a wellspring of personal and financial support. The Institute's activities include the following five core programs in addition to a range of initiatives.
"Sundance Film Festival
"Feature Film Program
"Documentary Film Program
"Film Music Program
It was an amazing night. Patrons and supporters of the Arts were all in attendance. Robert Redford was incredibly gracious and his dedication to Sundance is remarkable. He's a true icon.
What he has created in Sundance stands as a pinnacle in artistic development and is a testament that art can be created without the pressures of commercialized production. And that given the opportunity, artists can indeed thrive in this supportive environment.
The irony about all of this is that many of these works end up being incredibly "commercially" successful due, in my own opinion, to the freedom given to those who are creating them.
So thanks to Kenneth and Maria for a wonderful invite and thanks to Robert Redford for creating a place where artists can do what they do best... create.