2010 Sundance Film Festival Announces "Spotlight Surprise"

World Premiere of Exit Through the Gift Shop, the First Feature Film by Renowned Graffiti Artist Banksy

Posted Jan 20, 2010

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PARK CITY, UT—Sundance Institute announced today that the much-speculated “Spotlight Surprise” selection will be Exit Through the Gift Shop, the first feature film by renowned graffiti artist Banksy. The film will make its world premiere on Sunday, January 24 at 8:30 p.m. at Library Center Theatre in Park City. The Festival opens today and runs through January 31 in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden, and Sundance, Utah. To purchase tickets or to view a complete list of films and screening times, visit www.sundance.org/festival.

Banksy is a graffiti artist with a global reputation whose work can be seen on walls from post-hurricane New Orleans to the Palestinian segregation wall in the West Bank.  Fiercely guarding his anonymity to avoid prosecution, Banksy has so far resisted all attempts to be captured on film.  Exit Through the Gift Shop is the story of how an eccentric French shop keeper and amateur filmmaker attempted to locate and befriend Banksy, only to have the artist turn the camera back on its owner with spectacular results.  Billed as ‘the world’s first street art disaster movie’ the film contains exclusive footage of Banksy, Shepard Fairey, Invader and many of the world’s most infamous graffiti artists at work.

Exit Through the Gift Shop is one of those films that comes along once in a great while, a warped hybrid of reality and self -induced fiction while at the same time a totally entertaining experience,” said John Cooper, Director of the Sundance Film Festival. “The story is so bizarre I began to question if it could even be real... but in the end I didn't care. I feel bad I won't be able to shake the filmmaker’s hand and tell him how much I love this film.  I think I will shake everyone's hand that day and hope I hit on Banksy somewhere. I love his work in all forms.”

“It’s the story of how one man set out to film the un-filmable,” said Banksy.  “And failed.”

Sundance Film Festival screenings:

  • January 24, 8:30 p.m. at Library Center Theatre WORLD PREMIERE
  • January 25, 12:15 p.m. at Egyptian Theatre
  • January 27, 2:15 p.m. at Racquet Club
  • January 29, 9:00 p.m. at Tower Theatre
  • January 30, 6:00 p.m. at Temple Theatre

Running time: 87 minutes

2010 Sundance Film Festival Sponsors
The 2010 Sundance Film Festival sponsors to date include: Presenting Sponsors—Entertainment Weekly, HP, Honda and Sundance Channel; Leadership Sponsors—American Express, Bing™, DIRECTV,  G-Technology by Hitachi, Southwest Airlines and YouTube™; Sustaining Sponsors—ABSOLUT® VODKA, Blockbuster Inc., FilterForGood®, a partnership between Brita® and Nalgene®, L’Oréal Paris, Sony Electronics Inc., Stella Artois®, Timberland and Utah Film Commission. Their support will defray costs associated with the 10-day Festival and the nonprofit Sundance Institute's year-round programs for independent film and theatre artists. In return, sponsorship of the preeminent Festival provides these organizations with global exposure, a platform for brand impressions and unique access to Festival attendees: The 2009 Sundance Film Festival, attended by over 40,000 visitors, generated an overall economic impact of a record $92.1 million and generated over $18 million in media exposure.

Sundance Institute
Founded by Robert Redford in 1981, Sundance Institute is a not-for-profit organization that fosters the development of original storytelling in film and theatre, and presents the annual Sundance Film Festival.
Internationally recognized for its artistic development programs for directors, screenwriters, producers, film composers, playwrights and theatre artists, Sundance Institute has nurtured such projects as Angels in America, Spring Awakening, Boys Don't Cry and Born into Brothels. www.sundance.org

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