obert Redford has revealed he started the Sundance Film Festival to celebrate filmmakers "shut out by the mainstream".
The Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid star admitted that he was inspired to create the festival after realising that there was a gap that needed to be filled.
"I started early on in my career working on large Hollywood films, which were fun and great, but it didn't satisfy what need I have, which was something maybe a little bit more risky, therefore more low-budget and independent," he said at the launch for Sundance London, the British version of the US festival.
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"When we finally started Sundance, it was basically to enlarge the category of film to include those people who might be shut out by the mainstream thinking. That would increase the respect for film."
Robert - who is also an acclaimed director - insisted that the focus would remain on smaller-budget films.
"What makes my country unique is the diversity. That diversity was not so available in the mainstream film industry... It was more prone to blockbusters, which is fine, because it's still entertainment and it's good, but not at the expense that I felt of the humanistic side of cinema," he continued.
"It's not to deny or eliminate those films because they are satisfying on a worldwide basis, I just feel that there's a hunger for other kinds of films as well and that's what we represent."
Sundance London takes place at The O2 London until April 29.