Sundance Secret Reflects Festival's Rebirth

The BBC and Sundance websites have jointly revealed that Exit Through The Giftshop, a film by notorious street artist Banksy will be one of their 'secret' film premieres at the festival which is due to begin today.

Posted on the BBC site at exactly 7.00am GMT (normally an indication of an embargo) the film is reported to be composed of Banksy filming the attentions and intentions of a French documentary maker who attempted to befriend him in order to reveal his identity and motives. A trailer has also surfaced on YouTube and Banksy's official website.

With Sundance this year marketing itself as 'renewed rebellion' the world premiere of the Banksy film, hitherto unknown to the press and even, apparently, IMDb, must be counted as something of a coup and festival executives were quick to hype it up with Director John Cooper labelling it as 'one of those films that comes along once in a great while'.

Of course, this is just the sort of attention that Sundance want and whether the film is good or not, its inclusion will at least go someway to restoring the festival's pride, having been criticised by some in recent years for 'losing its edge'. Not that you can claim they've quite grabbed the opportunity with both hands, the write-up on the festival's website safely seperating the film's subject, "street art" with a protective pair of quotation marks, lest it creep out into the world of "proper art" that resides in Park City, Utah.

The trailer too seems to at least poke fun at film festivals and film critique with jokes about the awards, Cannes and Total Film reviews. You've got to hope that when festival organisers watched the film they actually 'got' its true intentions and understand some of Banksy's work as extremely subversive because if they didn't, this could prove to be a fairly interesting premiere in more ways than one.

The film is scheduled to get its first showing at the festival on Sunday.

UPDATE: After its announcement, IMDb are now listing details of the film. This link has been added to the above article.

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