HCAF Artistic Director Richard Herskowitz comments: "The Sundance Institute's programs reflect Robert Redford 's passionate commitment to supporting not just independent filmmakers but also innovative artists in theater, music, and the visual arts. Promoting the transformative power of the arts is also at the heart of our programming mission at the Houston Cinema Arts Festival. We are therefore thrilled to be honoring Robert Redford this year as the visionary founder of Sundance and as a creative artist himself."
Redford's work in such classics as BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID, THE STING, THE WAY WE WERE, OUT OF AFRICA has been widely lauded and recognized. But it is his directing that has earned him his greatest acclaim. Redford won a Directors Guild of America Award, a Golden Globe Award and the Academy Award for Best Director for his directorial debut on the emotionally shattering family drama, ORDINARY PEOPLE. He went on to both direct and produce THE MILAGRO BEANFIELD WAR and A RIVER RUNS THROUGH IT, for which he received a Best Director Golden Globe nomination. He earned dual Oscar nominations for Best Picture and Best Director in 1994 for helming QUIZ SHOW and two Golden Globe nominations (Best Picture and Best Director) for THE HORSE WHISPERER in 1998. He went on to direct and produce THE LEGEND OF BAGGER VANCE in 2000, LIONS FOR LAMBS in 2007, and THE CONSPIRATOR in 2011. He recently completed THE COMPANY YOU KEEP, which he directed and stars in, to be released in 2013 by Sony Pictures Classics.
Founded by Robert Redford in 1981, Sundance Institute is a global, nonprofit cultural organization dedicated to nurturing artistic expression in film and theater, and to supporting intercultural dialogue between artists and audiences. The non-for-profit Sundance Institute is internationally recognized for its annual Sundance Film Festival as well as its artistic development programs, which include the Screenwriting, Directing, Theatre, Music Composition and Producing Labs. Additional Sundance for-profit entities include Sundance Catalog, Sundance Channel , Sundance Cinemas, and Sundance Resort. Sundance Cinemas' new Houston theater, which opened in November 2011, will host over 25 art and independent film screenings at this year's HCAF.
As part of the festivities surrounding Redford's conversation at Sundance Cinemas during the 2012 Houston Cinema Arts Festival, he will receive the 3rd Annual Levantine Cinema Arts Award, which honors a leading actor, director, or other creative artist who has stretched the boundaries of cinematic expression throughout an illustrious film career. The Levantine Cinema Arts Award is sponsored by Levantine Films, an independent motion picture development, financing and Production Company aiming to promote understanding and inspire dialogue across cultures, captivating audiences and challenging stereotypes through the power of great storytelling. Levantine Films produced AMREEKA, a film that benefitted from The Sundance Institute's support.