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Sundance Surprise: Banksy’s “Gift Shop”

Sundance Surprise: Banksy's "Gift Shop"

“The story of how one man set out to film the un-filmable. And failed,” is how Banksy describes “Exit Through the Gift Shop,” the Spotlight Surprise selection at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival,” which opens today in Park City, UT. The first feature film by renowned graffiti artist Banksy, the film will have its world premiere on Sunday, January 24 at 8:30 p.m. at Library Center Theatre in Park City.

Many here in Utah are already surely wondering, will the artist be in attendance?

“Banksy is a graffiti artist with a global reputation whose work can be seen on walls from post-hurricane New Orleans to the Palestinian segregation wall in the West Bank,” said the festival, in a description, “Fiercely guarding his anonymity to avoid prosecution, Banksy has so far resisted all attempts to be captured on film. ‘Exit Through the Gift Shop’ is the story of how an eccentric French shop keeper and amateur filmmaker attempted to locate and befriend Banksy, only to have the artist turn the camera back on its owner with spectacular results. Billed as ‘the world’s first street art disaster movie’ the film contains exclusive footage of Banksy, Shepard Fairey, Invader and many of the world’s most infamous graffiti artists at work.”

Banksy’s work began showing up around Park City this week, ahead of this weekend’s screening.

“‘Exit Through the Gift Shop’ is one of those films that comes along once in a great while, a warped hybrid of reality and self -induced fiction while at the same time a totally entertaining experience,” said John Cooper, Director of the Sundance Film Festival, in a statement. “The story is so bizarre I began to question if it could even be real… but in the end I didn’t care. I feel bad I won’t be able to shake the filmmaker’s hand and tell him how much I love this film. I think I will shake everyone’s hand that day and hope I hit on Banksy somewhere. I love his work in all forms.”

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