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Quiet Sundance Opens in Recession; Redford: "Art Will Find a Way"

Will "Slumdog Millionaire" give the low-key festival a boost?

A more subdued Sundance Film Festival kicked off in Park City, Utah on Thursday night. Speaking at the opening night premiere, festival founder Robert Redford said that despite the economy and a downturn in film financing, "art will find a way." The industry has modest expectations about the sales market at this year's festival, says The Hollywood Reporter. Sony Pictures Classics closed a deal for the Spanish-lanugage "Rudo y Cursi," while HBO announced Thursday it had purchased the TV rights to the political documentary "Burma VJ."
Meanwhile, The New York Times wonders if "Slumdog Millionaire's" success will have a positive impact on the festival, as audiences may bypass studio fare for smaller, more innovative and impactful flicks. During his opening-night remarks, Redford added that Obama coming to the White House could lead to "a very inspiring time for artists."