Prior to this year, the world’s most celebrated film festival for independent cinema had previously confined itself to the US, and predominantly Park City, Utah. However, in March 2011 Sundance founder and screen legend Robert Redford announced that the inaugural Sundance London would take place this past weekend at the O2 Greenwich featuring some of the highlights of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival proper and would also feature some special concerts and the usual selection of industry panels and workshops.
Rather than spend a whole weekend at the soulless O2, I opted instead to see a few choice films and have a more relaxed festival experience. From looking at the films selected to be screened, it was quickly obvious to anyone familiar with the line-up from Park City that there was a huge omission. Ben Lewin’s The Surrogate picked up the audience award and the special jury prize at Sundance in January and is already tipped for Oscar success next year. For unknown reasons it was conspicuously absent from the London line-up but despite this there was still plenty to excite lovers of independent cinema. Here’s a short summary of the three films I saw