Page last updated at 11:20 GMT, Thursday, 5 November 2009

Sundance Film Festival to expand

Robert Redford
Robert Redford founded the annual film festival

Sundance Film Festival organisers have announced the event will expand across eight US cities so audiences can engage in a "collective film experience".

In January, the festival will send eight filmmakers across the US to showcase their latest movies and answer questions from audiences.

It is hoped the initiative will inspire film fans "to share opinions" and "discuss the key issues".

The regular festival, founded by Robert Redford, runs 21-31 January in Utah.

A statement on the official website said the aim of the tour was to "entertain audiences and to highlight the ability of art, specifically film, to introduce new concepts, challenge ideals and spur debate".

Redford added: "The concept behind Sundance Film Festival USA is to ignite dialogue as people across the country engage in a collective film experience.

"We hope by speaking with artists about their work and experiencing the Festival as it is happening, audiences will be inspired to share opinions, discuss the key issues of our day and reflect on the role art plays in social change."

Selections for the eight films to go on tour will take place shortly after the festival announces its programme in December.

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