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30 years later, Sundance mission still the same, Redford says
(Scott Sommerdorf   |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Workers busy themselves constructing the Hewlett Packard Live Lounge at Heber and Main in Park City, Wednesday, January 15, 2014.
(Scott Sommerdorf   |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Workers deliver ice to a restaurant on Main Street in Park City, Wednesday, January 15, 2014.
(Scott Sommerdorf   |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
FedEx delivery team deliver packages for the Sundance Film Fesival on Main Street in Park City, Wednesday, January 15, 2014.
(Scott Sommerdorf   |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
People pass by the Hewlett Packard Live Lounge at Heber and Main in Park City, Wednesday, January 15, 2014.
(Scott Sommerdorf   |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
A restaurant just off Main Street in Park City, Wednesday, January 15, 2014.
(Scott Sommerdorf   |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
FedEx crew delivers packages to Sundance Film Festival offices on Main in Park City, Wednesday, January 15, 2014.
(Scott Sommerdorf   |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Deliveries being made on Main Street in Park City, Wednesday, January 15, 2014.
(Scott Sommerdorf   |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
A worker cuts lumber during the construction of the Hewlett Packard Live Lounge at Heber and Main in Park City, Wednesday, January 15, 2014.
(Scott Sommerdorf   |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
People walk down Main Street in Park City, Wednesday, January 15, 2014.
(Scott Sommerdorf   |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Visitor cross the street at Heber and Main in Park City, Wednesday, January 15, 2014.
(Scott Sommerdorf   |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
A Sundance worker mops the stage where the opening press conference will take place in about an hour at the Egyptian Theater in Park City, Thursday, January 16, 2014.
(Scott Sommerdorf   |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Founder and President of Sundance Institute Robert Redford, right, speaks as Sundance Institute Executive Director Keri Putnam listens during the opening press conference will take place in about an hour at the Egyptian Theater in Park City, Thursday, January 16, 2014.
(Scott Sommerdorf   |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Founder and President of Sundance Institute Robert Redford, right, speaks as Sundance Institute Executive Director Keri Putnam listens during the opening press conference will take place in about an hour at the Egyptian Theater in Park City, Thursday, January 16, 2014.
(Scott Sommerdorf   |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Founder and President of Sundance Institute Robert Redford, right, speaks as Sundance Institute Executive Director Keri Putnam listens during the opening press conference will take place in about an hour at the Egyptian Theater in Park City, Thursday, January 16, 2014.
(Scott Sommerdorf   |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Founder and President of Sundance Institute Robert Redford, listens to a question during the opening press conference will take place in about an hour at the Egyptian Theater in Park City, Thursday, January 16, 2014.
(Scott Sommerdorf   |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Founder and President of Sundance Institute Robert Redford, right, speaks as Sundance Institute Executive Director Keri Putnam, center, and John Cooper, left listen during the opening press conference will take place in about an hour at the Egyptian Theater in Park City, Thursday, January 16, 2014.
(Scott Sommerdorf   |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Sundance Institute Executive Director Keri Putnam, center, answers a question as Founder and President of Sundance Institute Robert Redford, right, and Sundance Film Festival Director John Cooper, left take part in the discussion during the opening press conference at Sundance at The Egyptian Theater in Park City, Thursday, January 16, 2014.
(Scott Sommerdorf   |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Founder and President of Sundance Institute Robert Redford takes part in the discussion during the opening press conference at Sundance at The Egyptian Theater in Park City, Thursday, January 16, 2014.
(Scott Sommerdorf   |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Founder and President of Sundance Institute Robert Redford answers a question during the opening press conference at Sundance at The Egyptian Theater in Park City, Thursday, January 16, 2014.
(Scott Sommerdorf   |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Sundance Institute Executive Director Keri Putnam answers a question during the opening press conference at Sundance at The Egyptian Theater in Park City, Thursday, January 16, 2014.
(Scott Sommerdorf   |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Founder and President of Sundance Institute Robert Redford, center, answers a question as Sundance Institute Executive Director Keri Putnam, left, listens, and moderator and Salt Lake Tribune movie critic Sean Means scans the audience looking for the next questioner during the opening press conference at Sundance at The Egyptian Theater in Park City, Thursday, January 16, 2014.
(Scott Sommerdorf   |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Sundance Institute Executive Director Keri Putnam, left, laughs as she answers a question as Founder and President of Sundance Institute Robert Redford, right, takes part in the discussion during the opening press conference at Sundance at The Egyptian Theater in Park City, Thursday, January 16, 2014.
(Scott Sommerdorf   |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Sundance Film Festival Director John Cooper, left, Sundance Institute Executive Director Keri Putnam, Founder and President of Sundance Institute Robert Redford, and Salt Lake Tribune film critic Sean Means, acting as the moderator for the opening press conference, are introduced to the audience at the Egyptian Theater in Park City, Thursday, January 16, 2014.
(Scott Sommerdorf   |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Sundance Institute Executive Director Keri Putnam, left, listens as Founder and President of Sundance Institute Robert Redford, answers a question during the opening press conference at the Egyptian Theater in Park City, Thursday, January 16, 2014. At right is Salt Lake Tribune film critic Sean Means, who was the moderator of the discussion.
(Scott Sommerdorf   |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Sundance Film Festival Director John Cooper, left, Sundance Institute Executive Director Keri Putnam, center, and Founder and President of Sundance Institute Robert Redford, discuss a question during the opening press conference, at the Egyptian Theater in Park City, Thursday, January 16, 2014.
(Scott Sommerdorf   |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Bundled up visitors to Park City walk along Main Street, Thursday, January 16, 2014.
(Trent Nelson  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Film posters cover walls along Main Street as the Sundance Film Festival begins Thursday January 16, 2014 in Park City.
(Rick Egan  | The Salt Lake Tribune)   

John Murphy (left) takes a photo of musician, Jehovah Hendrickson, in front of the Egyptian Theatre, on Main Street in Park City, Thursday, January 16, 2014.
(Rick Egan  | The Salt Lake Tribune)   

Lee Leisenheimer puts a decal on the window of the Utah Film Commission, in preparation for the Sundance Film Festival, on Main Street in Park City, Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014.
(Rick Egan  | The Salt Lake Tribune)   

Main Street in Park City, in preparation for the Sundance Film Festival, Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014.
(Rick Egan  | The Salt Lake Tribune)   

Movie posters are tacked up on Main Street, in preparation for the Sundance Film Festival, in Park City, Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014.
(Rick Egan  | The Salt Lake Tribune)   

Miles Ozo takes a photo of Jay Arcansalian as he peeks through an ice sculpture on Main Street, in Park City, Thursday, January 16, 2014.
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"Would it have been wonderful to be nominated? Of course," Redford told reporters at the Egyptian Theatre. "But I’m not disturbed by it or upset because it’s a business. I was so happy to be able to do this film because it was independent. So that’s what’s on my mind, the chance it gave me. I’m happy about it and I’ll stay happy with it. The rest is not my business, it’s someone else’s."

Nominations for this year’s Academy Awards were announced just a few hours before the news conference; Redford, who starred in "All Is Lost," was not on the list.

Redford also felt the need to address a recent article that suggested that Sundance wasn’t what it could be. The article criticized the festival for its lack of support in the areas of film distribution and other financial matters.

"That’s got nothing to do with who we are," Redford charged, adding it always has been the mission of the film festival to help new artists hone their craft and provide an opportunity for them to share their work.

After that, he said, "it’s our hope [that they will get distribution] but it’s not our business."

The annual festival, which brings a host of Hollywood actors, directors and producers — as well as musicians, athletes, media and even top chefs — to Utah, runs through Sunday, Jan. 26, in Park City and at venues in Salt Lake City, Ogden and the Sundance resort. Five premieres were set on the Day One slate in Park City.

Story continues below

The lineup is filled with 117 feature films from 37 countries. Of those, 54 films come from first-time directors.

The competition and Next films boast big names, including Oscar winners Anne Hathaway, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Mary Steenburgen, while the documentaries cover a range of topics from Alzheimer’s and obesity to gay marriage, dinosaurs and the Major League Baseball pitcher who threw a no-hitter while on LSD.

Redford was joined onstage by Kari Putnam, Sundance Institute executive director, and John Cooper, festival director. Tribune movie critic Sean P. Means was the moderator.

The 30-year anniversary was the focus of much of the discussion.

"I don’t think the mission of Sundance has changed; it exists to support the voices of artists, to get their stories told and seen," said Putnam. Over course, it has also seen a "remarkable evolution," starting with feature films, then adding documentaries, a theater program and now 18 labs that support up-and-coming artists.

"It’s grown up," said Putnam, "but the mission has stayed the same."

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