The Sundance Film Festival is set to become a platform for European filmmakers, according to festival director Geoffrey Gilmore, speaking at the Holland Film Meeting in Utrecht.

While admitting that he only had "a modest goal" and was not intending to create "a European-focused festival per se", Gilmore declared that he hoped that "this will open some new avenues for people, not as a solution for all of the problems of European cinema in the United States, but certainly as a measure towards trying to support the ability of this work to get seen".

"I want to get over people's limitation of vision in terms of audiences, by trying to get people to see work that has subtitles in it, work with other actors, and I want to think through ways in which we can help support this work", Gilmore continued. "An example is what we have done in recent years supporting brand new Spanish films and filmmakers like Amenabar and Medem and helping them emerge in the US".

At the same time, Gilmore stressed that this intensified interest in European cinema did not mean that he was intending to compete with Rotterdam and Berlin, although he noted but noted that "it is interesting that three of the last six Golden Bears - Central Station, Intimacy and Bloody Sunday - started out at Sundance".

This greater interest in the non-American dimension of the festival comes after Sundance announced ( Sept 17) that it is launching a section of eight international documentaries at next January's event to co-exist with the World Cinema section of some 32 dramatic features.