The Burbank International Film Festival Board of Directors is comprised of talented industry professionals and production executives who work within the studio system. Our festival judges, screening committees, and even many of our volunteers are respected professionals in the motion picture and television industry. Our festival awards categories mirror the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, and The Annie Awards.
Our mission is to promote up-and-coming filmmakers by providing a gateway to expand their careers in the entertainment industry. We shine a light on the unknown talent of today, helping them become the celebrated filmmakers of tomorrow. Not only do we actively champion independent filmmaking, we are one of the few, if not the only film festival in the world that offers film distribution seminars to help filmmakers guide their cinematic vision toward profitability.
The Burbank International Film Festival is a California non-profit organization operating as a 501C3 tax-exempt corporation.
Board of Directors
Jeff Rector – President and Artistic Director
Jeff Rector is an award-winning writer, director, actor and producer. His feature film “Revamped” which he wrote, directed and produced, is currently being distributed worldwide. Revamped is a feature length version of his first short film “Fatal Kiss”, which won awards for “Best Screenplay”, “Best Director”, “Best Picture” and was one of the first short films ever acquired by HBO. Jeff has has the pleasure of working with all the major studios and television and cable networks. Jeff hosted and executive produced SFN: Science Fiction News for PBS, is a voting member of the Television Academy (EMMY Awards), and is the official spokesman for the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & and Horror Films that produce the annual Saturn Awards. Jeff’s many years in the television and motion picture industry has earned him over 100 feature films and television credits on shows including “How I Met Your Mother”, “The Bold & the Beautiful”, “One Life To Live”, “Beverly Hills 90210” and “NYPD Blue” to name a few. Jeff served on The Toluca Lake Neighborhood Council for five years, supports other charitable organizations and committees and currently serves on the Burbank Cultural Arts Commission,
Jeff Maynard is a proficient leader with 18 years of film industry experience as a Studio Executive, Producer, Post Producer, DGA UPM, and Consultant. After years serving as the Senior Vice President of world-wide post production for The Weinstein Company and Dimension Films, responsible for all aspects of post from pre-production thru delivery on many films including the Oscar recognized “The Reader” and “The Kings Speech”, Jeff decided to shift his attention from full time studio executive to the company he co-founded, Gold Pictures, Inc. Jeff’s technical knowledge and unique approach to problem solving is unsurpassed thus his consulting services remain in high demand from filmmakers, vendors, and studios. Mr. Maynard utilizes his experience managing budgets and personnel on his own projects, and has become a sought after producer due to his talent for bringing films in on time and under budget. Jeff is an innovator with a wealth of experience in the areas of physical and post production as well as technology, workflow, digital content integration, and archive. Having delivered more than 80 feature films, Mr. Maynard is actively involved in the development and integration of new and emerging technologies as they relate to the entertainment industry.
Laura Willoughby – Treasurer
Laura Willoughby, grew up in San Diego, California, the daughter of Claytor (US Navy) and Sandra Willoughby. While auditioning for a role in Stephen King’s “Pet Cemetary”, she met Sue Swan and was hired into the casting department by Fern Champion, one of the top casting director’s at the time. Some of Laura’s casting credits include “Sommersby” with Richard Gere and Jodi Foster, “Iron Clad’ with Virginia Madsen, and “Dragonfly” with Kevin Costner. But it was in Germany that she met her husband, and settled down to the crew side of life. Today, in addition to casting, Laura is a production coordinator and is also producing her own projects in both Los Angeles, California and Dublin, Ireland where her production company has been located since 2014.
Tracey Bowyer – Secreatry
Tracey Bowyer has an MBA from the Australian Graduate School of Management and a Bachelor of Business from Curtain University of Technology. She started her career in project management, public administration and policy before moving into software development and marketing then senior management in a number of high profile media companies. Having previously worked as VP of Product Development and Sales Enablement at TEGNA’s digital marketing division, Tracey now works as CMO/COO for Stop and reGrow, the first true cure for male pattern baldness. Tracey is passionate about independent film making and supporting the careers of independent filmmakers. She is Secretary for the Board and additionally provides strategic guidance in the areas of marketing, business strategy and sponsorships.
Jolin Crofts – Director of Submissions & Programming
Jolin earned a B.S. degree in Computer Science as well as an M.S. degree in Telecommunications from the University of Pittsburgh. Jolin began her career as the project manager for multimillion dollar Telecom projects responsible for managing the budget, resources, contracts and negotiations. Her passion for creative story telling led her to Los Angeles to pursue filmmaking while taking screen writing courses at UCLA. Later, Jolin worked for The Simpsons and Fox Searchlight, was a casting director for several films and worked as a producer for MySpace. She currently sits on the Board of the Windsor Square/Hancock Park Historical Society, is a member of Film Independent and is the Director of Submissions and Programming for the Burbank International Film Festival.
Anna Grace McNiven
Anna Grace McNiven is an Australian writer, director and producer. This is her second year as board member, judge and marketing and social media strategist for the Burbank International Film Festival. Anna’s savvy social media skills and marketing expertise is crucial to expanding the festivals exposure and global awareness. Anna’s passion for independent filmmaking has paved the way for not only her own productions, but collaborations with many other artists and industry professionals. Anna has produced several music videos and is currently in pre-production for the feature horror film “Noise Farm” which she co-wrote and is producing.