How not to thank Robert Redford for
helping your state’s brand in a big way
Every year since 1978, the Sundance Film Festival has brought prestige, lots of positive press coverage, and oodles upon oodles of dollars to Utah.
Now the Sutherland Institute, a Utah organization that refers to itself, not without unintended irony, as a “think tank,” has taken a stand against the festival. Quoth its spokesperson: “Given the amount of sexual promiscuity that Sundance Film Festival regularly brings to Utah, it seems similarly indecent that Utah’s major economic development agencies basically endorsed the event.” (Click here for The Salt Lake Tribune story.)
The folks at the Sutherland Institute should get out more.
Years ago, Sutherland approached the RESPONSE Agency for help with direct mail fundraising. The more I listened, the more their executive director and
Director and actor Robert Redford could have located the Sundance Film Festival anywhere. Lucky for Utah, Redford fell in love with the state’s landscapes during the filming of *Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.* Having lived here 36 years myself, I can hardly blame him. Witness this pic (unretouched) of Cedar Breaks, in Southern Utah, which I took with my iPhone.
Their subsequent behaviors and public statements repeatedly validated removing our hat from their ring. Their statements about Sundance, though most recent, are by no means the most damning example.
In a much earlier incarnation of this blog, I wrote of the encounter. I did not cite the half of my concerns. (Nor do I see any need to do so now.) It sufficed me to say, “This was not the first time that I walked away from a client or prospective client. But it is the only time that I have left thinking, ‘I hope they fail.’” (Click here for the post.)
Note to the rest of the world: Not everyone in Utah thinks like the Sutherland Institute seems to believe we should.