Robert Redford was in good spirits on Thursday morning, appearing at a press conference to kick off Sundance just hours after he was snubbed for an Oscar nomination. Though Redford was considered a frontrunner in the best actor race for “All Is Lost,” he said that distributor Roadside Attractions, which is partially owned by Lionsgate, hadn’t supported the release as effectively as he would have liked.
When a moderator talked about his exclusion from the Oscars race, the audience booed.
“Let me speak frankly about how I feel about it,” Redford said. “I don’t want that to get in the way of why we’re here,” referencing his commitment to independent film.
He pointed out that director J.C. Chandor had made his debut at Sundance several years ago.
“I’ve been part of the Hollywood film industry for much of my career,” he said. “I’m very happy about it. Hollywood is what it is. It’s a business.”
“There’s a lot of campaigning going on and it can be very political,” he added about the Oscars race.
Then he took a jab at Lionsgate, the studio that released “All is Lost.”
“In our case, we suffered from little to no distribution,” he said. “I don’t know what they were afraid of. They didn’t want to spend money or they were incapable.”
“We had no campaign to cross over into the mainstream,” he explained.
But he said he had no hard feelings. “Would it have been wonderful to be nominated?” he asked. “Of course. I’m not disturbed by it or upset by it.”