“Would it have been wonderful to be nominated? Of course,” Robert Redford said today kicking off the 30th anniversary of the Sundance Film Festival. Redford’s remarks during his annual state-of-the-fest news conference came just hours after the actor was snubbed as a Best Actor Academy Award nominee in the Oscars’ announcement early this morning. “But I’m not disturbed by it,” added the Sundance founder and president, who was nominate for a Golden Globe for his performance in JC Chandor’s All Is Lost. “I’m fine.”
Redford addressed the issue at the beginning of today’s presser. He said he thought one reason for the miss had to do with there being no real Academy campaign for the pic. “These films are reliant on campaigns. We suffered from little to no distribution. We had no campaign to help us cross over to the mainstream. It can get very political,” Redford said of the film, which Lionsgate-owned Roadside Attractions distributed domestically. “I don’t know what they were afraid of. They didn’t want to spend money or they were incapable,” he added. With those comments, Redford also was very practical about his chances for a film that has only made about $8 million at the box office. “Hollywood is a business and a very good one, and I have nothing but respect for it,” the actor added.
Although Redford’s chances for a Best Actor nomination had taken on water of late, the 77 year old was still seen as a contender. He picked up an Honorary Oscar in 2002, won Best Director in 1981 for Ordinary People and was nominated in the same category in 1995 for Quiz Show but the one and only time he was nominated as an Actor was in 1973 for The Sting. Still, despite the lack of a nomination today, All Is Lost holds a special place in the actor’s career he said. “The film I made with J.C. Chandor is something I’m very proud of. It was for me a pure cinematic experience, I love that,” Redford said of the nearly dialogueless pic. “For me as an actor, it gave me a chance to go back to my roots.”
Redford was joined onstage at the Egyptian Theater by Sundance Institute Executive Director Keri Putnam and Sundance Film Festival Director John Cooper. The trio discussed the festival’s history as well as new elements like this year’s Free Fail panels addressing the notion of failure. “To me change is inevitable. Either you resist it or you go with it and try to change with it as much as possible,” said Redford of the festival and the industry itself. Putnam said that for all the change that has happened over the festival’s three decades, she believes it has stayed true to its roots. “Our job and our role is to create a space and a platform” for independent film and new voices, Redford said. “We’re not interested in the money,” he added in reference to how Sundance screened films do at the box office. “We are who we are.”
Sundance runs from today to January 26.