For the NEW YORK TIMES: After more than three decades of showcasing independent film in Park City, Utah, the Sundance Film Festival will for the first time take place in London under the moniker Sundance London.
The festival, which will include screenings of 14 selected films, discussions, Q&As, and musical performances, will take place at London’s 02 (Peninsula Square, SE10 0DX; Jubilee line to North Greenwich) from Thursday through Sunday.
Explaining the rationale behind jumping the pond, the Sundance chairman, Robert Redford, announced his hope of helping to “build a picture of our country that is broadly reflective of the diversity of voices not always seen in our cultural exports.”
With that goal in mind, one of Sundance London’s big events will be a screening on Saturday of the 1986 Tim Hunter film “River’s Edge,” starring Keanu Reeves, Crispin Glover and Dennis Hopper, that recounts the story of how local teenagers deal with the murder of one of their friends. Mr. Glover, whose long career includes his role as George McFly in “Back to the Future,” will do a Q&A after the film.
Music will play a big role in the London festival, both on film and in live performances.
“Under African Skies,” a new documentary, commemorates the 25th anniversary of Paul Simon’s “Graceland” album, which was recorded in South Africa as the United Nations held a cultural boycott in response to apartheid there.
The trip-hop pioneer Tricky will team up with the singer Martina Topley-Bird on Friday to perform his debut 1995 album “Maxinquaye,” which Rolling Stone has called an “essential” 90s recording. After a screening on Sunday of a Lian Lunson documentary about the singer-songwriter Kate McGarrigle, who died at 63 in January 2010, her children, Martha and Rufus Wainwright, will perform Ms. McGarrigle’s songs live.
“Shut Up and Play the Hits,” a documentary about New York’s LCD Soundsystem, follows the band’s final 48 hours of performances before calling it quits. The film “Coming Up for Air” follows the London band Placebo, which has been together nearly two decades, on its eighth world tour. Placebo will perform live on Saturday. Finally, the Chicago rapper Common has a lead role in “Luv,” a coming-of-age film that screens Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
“Sundance London is also an opportunity for us to expand and to show the world, beginning with London, this very special part of American culture, which is American independent film,” said John Cooper, the festival director.
Image: Paul Simon with members of Ladysmith Black Mambazo, by Luise Gubb, from paulsimon.com