Redford recalls penniless painter days on Riviera

7th October 2010, Comments 0 comments

Since the days he slept rough on the French Riviera, as a young man struggling to make it as a painter, Robert Redford has come a long way, he told AFP this week.

The actor-director turned founder of the Sundance television channel was in the Riviera city of Cannes to promote the international ambitions of the network, which launched outside the United States last year.

Redford spent a year in France when he was 18, and the first time he visited the Mediterranean resort he slept under the pier opposite the Carlton Hotel, he told AFP on the sidelines of the MIPCOM audiovisual entertainment fair.

"I remember waking up and looking up at the Carlton and thinking, 'Wow! I wonder what goes on in there," he said with a laugh, looking down towards the beach from his suite in the opulent hotel.

Redford's Sundance Channel, which has 44 million subscribers in the United States, was bought by Rainbow Media in 2008, although he says he remains highly involved in the creative side of programming.

"I had always wanted to go international and when Rainbow bought Sundance we had the chance to take it out," he said.

Offering a mix of documentary, indie films and environmentally-flavoured shows, it launched last year in France and Belgium, then Singapore and Poland.

One year on, it announced a raft of new international deals on Thursday including with the Netherland's Caiway and South Korea's KT, formerly Korea Telecom, on the last day of the MIPCOM fair.

© 2010 AFP

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