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Banksy, a name which we’re very familiar with is set to debut his first film this month at the Sundance Film Festival. Titled “Exit Through The Gift Shop”, the film is billed as “the world’s first street art disaster movie”, and described by organizers as “…an amazing ride, a cautionary modern fairy tale . . . with bolt cutters.”. This will be the first time the elusive artist, will appear on film. (his publicists have stated however that his identity will not be revealed and only his voice will be heard.)

While “Exit Through The Gift Shop” was left off the official programme, it’s inclusion in the festival has been shrouded in secrecy. Initial speculation about the festival’s Spotlight Surprise turned to Banksy after four stencils, believed to be by the artist, appeared on walls in Park City, where the festival is held. Not surprising, given his notoriety for teasing his audience, toying with authority, and continually pulling the wool over people’s eyes to stage unexpected stunts.

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His satirical humor and brash social commentary has won the hearts of many over the years, as he continually adopts new mediums of expression; from the stencil and spray can, to life-size statues, animatronic installations in 08, to mysteriously installed full museum exhibitions earlier in 09. The film will be a new medium yet again for Banksy, and I’m sure we’ll all be in for an impressive surprise as he has proven time and time again.

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Exit Through The Gift Shop” will host  its world premiere at the festival on Sunday as the Sundance Spotlight Surprise (full screening times here.).  It is described as the story of how an eccentric French shop keeper turned documentary maker attempted to locate and befriend Banksy, only to have the artist turn the camera back on him. Banksy said: “It’s the story of how one man set out to film the un-filmable. And failed”. Banksy’s publicist told the guardian, “It’s a film about a man who tried to make a film about me. Everything in it is true, especially the bits where we all lie.”

From the looks of the video, it seems that other notable street artists the likes of Shepard Fairey, Mr. A (Andre), Space Invaders and a few others will be featured as well. In the past, Banksy has both mythologised and subverted his own image, so the film could raise as many questions as it answers. John Cooper, director of the Sundance Festival, said the story was so bizarre that he questioned whether it could be real. ”Exit Through The Gift Shop is one of those films that comes along once in a great while, a warped hybrid of reality and self-induced fiction while at the same time a totally entertaining experience,” he added.

For those that can’t make it to the festival “Exit Through The Gift Shop” is due to open in UK cinemas on 5 March.

Take a look at the Trailer below.

[youtube width="600" height="360"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GTlm6dU2xHk[/youtube]

More information at the Sundance website here.

More of Banksy coverage here.

Info: BBC, Sundance, Guardian