Banksy artwork.

As Sundance gets underway today, January 21, 2010 in Sundance and Park City, Utah, one of the most exciting films to debut is the “Spotlight Surprise” flick just announced today: “Exit Through the Gift Shop” created by the notorious UK street artist, Banksy. The film will play at Sundance on January 24 at 8:30 p.m., and is sure to be one of the hottest tickets in the festival.

At Label Networks, we’ve run many stories on Banksy and attended several of his shows. But the artist whose work often makes fun of current political or economic situations, and is always a bit controversial ranging from post-hurricane New Orleans to the Palestinian segregation wall in the West Bank, continues to redefine the world in terms of what we see as art and why we live the lives that we do.

The Bristol-born secret graffiti artist seems to also be a master at underground marketing. The hype for this film, like his secret shows, is enormous -in the subcultures of street art and entertainment.

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 filmmaker 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, Shepard Fairey, Space Invader, Andre and many of the world’s most infamous graffiti artists at work. It’s one of those documentary/satires that could only be done by someone on the inside, with access to these artists.

“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,” said John Cooper, Director of the Sundance Film Festival. “The story is so bizarre I began to question if it could even be real… but in the end I didn%uFFFDt care. I feel bad I won%uFFFDt be able to shake the filmmaker’s hand and tell him how much I love this film. I think I will shake everyone%uFFFDs hand that day and hope I hit on Banksy somewhere. I love his work in all forms.”

According to Banksy, “It’s the story of how one man set out to film the un-filmable. And failed.

Check-out the trailer: