The Sundance Film Festival, created by Robert Redford, has always been a cutting-edge force in the film business. But recently, it was revealed that executives have decided there isn’t enough diversity among film critics.
According to The Huffington Post, Sundance executives invited more artists who are both female and people of color. On Tuesday morning, Keri Putnam, the Sundance Executive Director, said that organizers had noticed a blind spot that needed to be addressed.
In an interview, Keri said diversity wasn’t merely about those who make the films, it’s about how they go about entering the world. The director insinuated that all of the white men who critique the movies are coming at the films from one perspective, and one only.
Putnam explained this has an adverse effect because only the movies loved by reviewers would go on to score big deals and major pushes from distribution networks. This sort of situation has real-life effects – and not just in the abstract – Putman explained.
As a result, the organizers have changed the way they recruit critics. Putman said that “sixty-three percent” of the media working there this year are from “underrepresented groups.” One could ask how they’re “under-represented” if they make up the majority.
This year, the demographic has changed significantly, including one documentary about the rise of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Knock Down The House, as well as Late Night, a story about a “diversity hire” who gets a job in a writer’s room.
During the opening day, the founder of Sundance, Robert Redford, spoke about how long the festival has been around; he first created it 34 years ago. The star thanked all of the volunteers who have helped make things work over the years, emphasizing the efforts of those beneath him in authority.
Recently, Redford retired from acting, with his last movie being The Old Man and The Gun. Robert said in past interviews that the film would be his last. Redford explained he is at a moment in his life where he can move on to something else.