Today in Sundance Hell: Shrinkage, 'Hoo-Ha' and Earth-Shattering Phone Calls

With a little more than 48 hours before our frostbitten arrival on the scene, we think it bears noting: Defamer is going to the Sundance Film Festival! Sadly, some news isn't waiting for us:

· While the festival itself is as cutthroat as it's ever been — this year admitting only 32 American films to competition out of 1,900 submitted — founder Robert Redford acknowledged to THR that he can foresee a day when Sundance runs its swag-choked, over-hyped, deflated-market course: "[W]hen we're no longer providing the mission we started with — not creating something new for audiences, not creating opportunities for new artists to have a place to come and develop — then we shouldn't be here, and we won't."

· And if/when the sponsorship pool recedes to near-wading levels, symptoms of which are apparent this year after festival partners Volkswagen and Adobe have backed out and party budgets have been slashed by millions of dollars? "What might be a positive is that if there is less hoo-ha," Redford says."Less of a circus atmosphere." Meh. "Get off my lawn" sounds so much better coming out of Clint Eastwood's mouth.

· Worst-case scenario, we can export Sundance to Abu Dhabi, where investors are in talks to introduce their own version of the fest — surely at an 600,000 square-foot indoor mall inside which Park City's Main Street will be rebuilt, five feet of man-made snow will line the street, and puddles of fake vomit will greet filmgoers exiting midnight screenings at the Egyptian.

· Again, 1,900 filmmakers vied for spots in this year's American competition. Less than 2 percent of them received this phone call from Sundance programming chief John Cooper. Show-offs. [via /film]