03/28/2008 02:45 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Sundance Opens Touting New Generation Of Filmmakers

The curtain rose on the Sundance Film Festival Thursday night with a spotlight on what founder Robert Redford called a new generation of filmmakers typified by Martin McDonagh and his opening film "In Bruges."

Award-winning playwright McDonagh made his debut as a film director with the drama about two hit men holed up in the small town of Bruges, Belgium. He was one of 58 first-time directors at 2008's Sundance, the top event for U.S. independent film.

Redford, whose Sundance Institute for filmmaking backs the festival founded over 20 years ago, said more first-time directors were screening movies this year than at any time he could remember since the mid-1980s.

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