In an exclusive interview with Closer Weekly, 79-year-old cinematic legend Robert Redford reveals he has been mulling whether to shut down Sundance Film Festival, the annual showcase for independent movies, that he founded in 1978.
“I don’t know if there will be a festival,” he tells Closer of its future. “It’s gotten so big, how long can it continue to expand without convulsing?”
Robert has started to slow down physically (eyewitnesses reported he moved more gingerly than usual this year). He’s determined to cherish the time he has left with his family: second wife Sibylle Szaggars and his two daughters, Shauna and Amy, as well as his son James, plus seven grandchildren. “Robert is fragile, and he’s not getting any younger,” says an old friend. “He longs to just enjoy his life.”
Robert on Jan. 21.
No matter what he decides, Robert can be proud of the work he’s done. “Sundance is Robert’s legacy,” an insider tells Closer. “He feels that next to raising his children, it’s the most important thing he’s ever done, and he loves knowing that many of the films he’s shown would’ve never seen daylight if it weren’t for him.”
“Robert feels he’s left a wonderful legacy to his kids,” says the friend. “They are the children of a man who believed in his dreams and kept his principles intact.”
“I grew up in an amazing storytelling family,” Robert’s son James shares with Closer. “My father is an enormous inspiration, because I grew up seeing the power of making sense out of life by telling stories and supporting a greater dialogue on issues. Clearly, my dad has been doing that for decades.”
Amy, Robert and Sibylle in October 2008.
Robert is happy to give his kids a hand up, like helping James find a slot at Sundance for his film. “That’s the connection where I come in,” Robert tells Closer. James presented Resilience, a new documentary he’s directed, at the fest. “I’m proud of him,” Robert says. “James has found his own path.”
“He wants what we all want for our kids and grandkids: to be happy, healthy and realize their dreams,” says the insider. “Robert will do whatever he can to make that happen.”
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