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Celebrating Movies: The Sundance Film Festival



Celebrating Movies: The Sundance Film Festival
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 7 to 9
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   8.47

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    feature-length, low-budget, low-profile, extravaganza, chairman, premier, publicity, filmmakers, finance, renamed, prestigious, showcase, dramatic, commission, gathering, all-out
     content words:    Sundance Film Festival, Warner Brothers, Twentieth Century Fox, Robert Redford, Park City, Butch Cassidy, Sundance Kid, Downhill Racer, Sundance Institute, Sundance Cinemas


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Celebrating Movies: The Sundance Film Festival
By Joyce Furstenau
  

1     The Sundance Film Festival was started in 1978 by the Utah film commission. It was started as an effort to draw more filmmakers to Utah. The goal of the festival was to showcase only American-made films. The original purpose of the festival was to set up a competition for independent American films. (Independent films are those that are not made by large film companies such as Warner Brothers, Twentieth Century Fox, etc.) The festival's aim was to highlight films made outside the Hollywood system. The categories included dramatic films, documentary, feature-length, and short films.
 
2     The festival's first chairman was actor Robert Redford. Having his name associated with Sundance gave the festival great attention. Redford and his wife built a home near Park City, Utah in 1963. Later, Redford used the profits from his films Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and Downhill Racer to purchase a ski area north of Provo, Utah. He renamed the ski area "Sundance" after the film character in the film that helped finance the purchase. He later started the Sundance Institute, Sundance Cinemas, Sundance Catalog, and the Sundance Channel, all in and around Park City.
 
3     The first film festival was held in September 1978 in Salt Lake City. It was called the U.S. Film Festival at the time. It was a competition for U.S.-made independent films. It also served to provide access to publicity for these smaller film companies.

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