Sundance 2010: Banksy and the First Street Art Disaster Movie

By  · Published on January 21st, 2010

It isn’t a secret if everyone knows it’s coming. It is interesting though, if world-renowned and reclusive street artist Banksy is involved. This morning the Sundance Film Festival announced that its first secret screening (to be held Sunday) would be the Banksy-centric doc Exit Through the Gift Shop. Here’s the quick synopsis:

Exit Through the Gift Shop is the first film by the renowned graffiti artist Banksy and makes its world debut at the Sundance Film Festival on the 24th January 2010.

Banksy is a graffiti artist with a global reputation whose work can be seen on walls from post-hurricane New Orleans to the Palestinian segregation wall in the West Bank. Fiercely guarding his anonymity to avoid prosecution Banksy has so far resisted all attempts to be captured on film. Exit Through the Gift Shop is the story of how an eccentric French shop keeper and amateur film maker attempted to locate and befriend Banksy, only to have the artist turn the camera back on its owner with spectacular results. Billed as ‘the world’s first street art disaster movie’ the film contains exclusive footage of Banksy, Shephard Fairey, Invader and many of the world’s most infamous graffiti artists at work.
“It’s the story of how one man set out to film the un-filmable. And failed”. – Banksy

Personally, I can’t wait to see the un-filmable failure. As someone who has admired Banksy’s work from near and far, but never thought to make a play at advanced knowledge of the man, I’m looking forward to being not only aware of his world, but gaining some intimate knowledge. The trailer below shows potential, and is filled with comedy and irreverence. Those are two things I dig. I say bring it on.

There is also this quote from Sundance Director John Cooper:

“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. The story is so bizarre I began to question if it could even be real…but in the end I didn’t care. I feel bad I won’t be able to shake the filmmaker’s hand and tell him how much I love this film. I think I will shake everyone’s hand that day and hope I hit on Banksy somewhere. I love his work in all forms.”


Neil Miller is the persistently-bearded Publisher of Film School Rejects, Nonfics, and One Perfect Shot. He's also the Executive Producer of the One Perfect Shot TV show (currently streaming on HBO Max) and the co-host of Trial By Content on The Ringer Podcast Network. He can be found on Twitter here: @rejects (He/Him)