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Sundance London Preview: Ry Russo-Young

As the legendary US film festival comes to the UK this week, we talk to the director of 'Nobody Walks'

Sundance Film Festival travels out the US for the first time in its history and hops over the pond for a special celebration of independent filmmaking at London’s O2 Arena from 26th-29th April. Named after chairman Robert Redford’s character in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, the festival has helped launch the career’s of many American films and filmmakers including Steven Soderberg, Kevin Smith, Darren Aronofsky and Quentin Tarantino. Alongside the screenings, London will host a series of special events including a live performance by Rufus and Martha Wainwright, a live Q&A with Robert Redford about combating climate change following a screening of documentary Harmony. A possible highlight is a Q&A with livewire Crispin Glover for River’s Edge, which premiered at 1987 Sundance – approach with caution.

All the films screening in London made an impact on the Sundance audiences in Utah a few month back. Dazed Digital have picked the following highlights. An Oversimplification of Her Beauty, a visually stunning film that merges live action with some quite psychedelic animation. Chasing Ice won the Excellence in Cinematography Award: U.S. Documentary at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival – National Geographic photographer James Balog’s time-lapse photography of glaciers highlights the unnerving reality of climate change. SHUT UP AND PLAY THE HITS follows enigmatic LCD Soundsystem front man James Murphy in the lead up to their final gig and Madison Square Gardens. Winner of the Grand Jury Prize: U.S. Documentary at 2012 Sundance, The House I Live In looks at the inadequacy and failings of traditional methods to combat drug crime in the US.

Winner of Dramatic Special Jury Prize, Nobody Walks was co-written by the ubiquitous voice of America’s creative and bored 20-somethings Lena Dunham – expect a mess of sexual impulses and splattered emotions. Dazed Digital chatted to director of Nobody Walks, Ry Russo-Young about bringing her film to Sundance London.

Dazed Digital: What does being part of Sundance in London represent to a young filmmaker?
Ry Russo-Young: It's an exciting opportunity to share Nobody Walks with a new culture.  It makes me feel all tingly inside when I think about screening the film in London.
DD: Do you see yourself and Lena Dunham as part of a new cultural movement in film?
Ry Russo-Young: I think we tell stories that come from our hearts. Part of this has to do with what's going on right now but it's also just starts with an experience or emotion.
DD: What do you consider unique about your approach to filmmaking?
Ry Russo-Young: I have a great bullshit detector, i.e. I can tell when a moment is false and help fix it.
DD: Anything you particularly want to visit while you're in London?
Ry Russo-Young: The set of Downton Abbey.
DD: What does Robert Redford smell like?
Ry Russo-Young: Robert Redford is a beautiful man of intelligence and grace. When he looks at you, he looks deep into your soul and makes you feel known. I'm sure he smells delicious.

More info on Sundance London HERE