AceShowbiz - Robert Redford stunned the media at the launch of the 36th Sundance Film Festival in Utah on Thursday, January 24, by announcing he was stepping down as the public face of the event.
The filmmaker and actor founded the festival and has been part of the launch event for 34 years, but his appearance at Park City's Egyptian Theatre on Thursday was his last.
"Having done this for God, 34 years now, since the festival started, I think we are at a point where I can move on to a different place," the 82-year-old said as he stood alone onstage. "I've been spending a lot of time introducing things but I don't think that the festival needs a lot of introduction any more."
Redford revealed he plans to spend more time with the filmmakers competing at Sundance this year, before leaving the stage to applause as Sundance Institute executive director Keri Putnam took over the microphone to launch this year's event. She was joined by director of programming Kim Yutani and several festival programmers.
The 2019 Sundance Film Festival runs from 24 January to 3 February.