Apparently, Robert Redford wants 2007 to be the year of the shorts. No, he isn't referring to the ridiculously warm weather we've been having this winter. He means it is time for short films to get the kind of recognition feature films receive, and he's hoping this year to see it happen. Redford's Sundance Institute has always been a big supporter of shorts, and it showcases a number of them at the Sundance Film Festival, but unfortunately they tend to get overshadowed by the buzz of the better-publicized features. This year may be different, though, as many of the festival's shorts program will be distributed to iTunes, each for sale at the price of $1.99.

This won't be the first time that outsiders will have the chance to see Sundance shorts. For years the festival has streamed a selection of them for free on its website. But the Institute is hoping to reach a wider audience through iTunes, and it sees the deal as predominantly beneficial for the shorts' filmmakers. However, not all of the shorts' filmmakers will get the opportunity. The download service can only offer about half of the 71 films in the program, mostly due to rights issues.

This should be good news for fans of our "Eat My Shorts!" column, which will spotlight Erik's recommended Sundance shorts once the festival gets underway.