“I think it’s appropriate and overdue to have this dialogue,” Redford said told the opening night crowd, according to the Hollywood Reporter. “I have a question, though. I was driving in L.A. recently, and I saw two billboards that featured guns prominently. It made me wonder, ‘Does my business think guns will help sell tickets?’ It’s worth asking that question.”
Festival director John Cooper added that Sundance 2013 is screening a film that touches on gun violence directly. Valentine Road is a documentary by Marta Cunningham about the 2008 murder of eighth-grader Lawrence (Larry) King, 14, by a classmate Brandon McInerney, 15, during their English class in Oxnard, California. The film explores the lives of both boys — Larry, an effemenite, possibly gay kid, and Brandon, who thought Larry had a crush on him.
Cooper added that Valentine Road was selected for Sundance prior to the December 14 massacre in Newtown, Connecticut. He continued, “Newtown and the gun-control dialogue going on will change what the documentary means to people at the festival. But for us, a truth is a truth, and it’s about allowing our filmmakers to tell a deeper story.”
You can watch Redford and other festival organizers at the opening of the 2013 Sundance Film Festival below:
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