Happy Friday people! As the European Independent Film Festival, ÉCU wants to dedicate this Friday’s spotlight to the person who has been deeply involved with independent film, the « Godfather of Indie » : Robert Redford!
The man who supports environmentalism, Native American rights, LGBT rights and the arts was born on the 18th of August 1936, with the full name Charles Robert Redford Jr, in Santa Monica, California. He is of origin English, Irish, Scottish, and his surname originates from England.
Not only an american actor, director, producer, businessman and environmentalist, but Redford is also the founder of the Sundance Film Festival. Just recently, in 2014, he is nominated as one of the « Most Influential People in the World » by Time magazine in its annual TIME 100.
Redford had long harbored ambitions to work on both sides of the camera. His career as an actor began in the 1950’s in New York and his first outing as director began in the 1980’s. He directed a drama Ordinary People, a story about the slow disintegration of an upper-middle class family, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Director.
The salaries he got from his acting careers, from Butch Cassidy, Sundance Kid and Downhill Racer brought the birth of Sundance Film Festival. In Utah, the state where his wife, Lola, comes from, Redford bought an entire ski area on the east side of Mount Timpanogos northeast of Provo, called « Timp Haven », which was renamed « Sundance ». He was influenced by his favorite film, Jeremiah Johnson (1972), which was shot near the ski area and the name « Sundance » comes from his Sundance Kid character. He founded then the Sundance Institute, Sundance Cinemas, Sundance Catalog, and the Sundance Channel in and around Park City, Utah, in where he owns a restaurant as well.
Robert Redford is truly a talented inspirational man with indie spirit. From his life story, we can see that with effort and determination it surely is possible for us to achieve our goals. We do hope that you, all independent filmmakers in the world, will always keep your spirits up and never stop influencing people with your works to make the world a better place. Stay cool and stay indie with ÉCU!