In addition to honoring outstanding independent filmmakers in a variety of categories, The Burbank International Film Festival is also proud to honor industry icons, innovators and pioneers in the world of Art, Music and Film.
From his days as one of the pioneering icons of electronic music to his current status as a world-renowned legendary film composer, Mark Isham continues to be one of the most prolific and provocative artists on the scene. Isham’s music has won many awards including a Grammy, an Emmy, and a Clio, in addition to multiple Grammy, Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations. Most recently, Mark was honored by ASCAP with the Henry Mancini Award for Lifetime Achievement. Isham’s musical scores grace such notable films as Crash, Bobby, The Black Dahlia, A River Runs Through It, Blade, Nell, and Men of Honor, to name a few. His list of collaborators include Robert Redford, Tom Cruise, Brian De Palma, Chick Corea, Jodi Foster, Robert Altman, Sting, Sydney Lumet, Mick Jagger and scores of others. Always an innovator, Mark recently composed the music for the hit ABC series, Once Upon A Time. No matter the genre, medium, or venue, Mark Isham displays a boundless ability to electrify the listener with his talent for crafting evocative new musical worlds. The Burbank International Film Festival is proud to honor Mark with the Pioneer in Music Award. Marc will be presented the award by past recipient, John Debny (“Iron Man 2”, “Sin City”).
Rick Baker has been an influential force in the creation of creatures and prosthetic makeup for over 40 years. Mentored early in his career by cinema makeup pioneer and innovator, Dick Smith, Baker honed his craft contributing to films such as “The Exorcist”, “Live and Let Die”, and television’s The “Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman”, for which Baker won an Emmy. As his reputation grew within the Hollywood community, he pushed the boundaries of traditional makeup effects by transforming David Naughton into a four-legged, ferocious werewolf in “An American Werewolf in London”. Rick’s ingenious use of prosthetics and puppet effects won him an Academy Award for “Outstanding Achievement in Makeup” the debut year of the category. Garnering a reputation for excellence and resourcefulness, Rick’s assignments became a diverse and iconic collection of creatures including “Harry and the Hendersons’, Michael Jackson’s Thriller, “Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan Lord of the Apes”, “Gorillas in the Mist”, “Coming to America”, “Gremlins 2: The New Batch”, “Men in Black”, “The Nutty Professor”, “Mighty Joe Young”, and “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” to name but a few. In the year 2011, Rick won his seventh Academy Award for his contributions transforming Benicio Del Toro and Sir Anthony Hopkins into werewolves for “The Wolfman”. He recently supplied a new population of aliens for Barry Sonnenfeld’s “Men in Black III”.
The Burbank International Film Festival is proud to announce that Burbank resident, Robert “Bobby” Moresco will be receiving the Pioneer in Screenwriting Award. Robert is an Award-Winning writer and producer and received two Academy Awards for his work on “Crash” starring Sandra Bullock and Matt Dillon and “Million Dollar Baby” starring Hillary Swank and Clint Eastwood. Moresco recently finished writing the feature HUBRIS for Universal, to be directed by Academy Award Nominee Todd Field (Little Children, In the Bedroom), and “Castro’s Daughter”, a script he wrote with Pulitzer Prize winner Nilo Cruz, to be directed by Academy Award Nominee, Michael Radford (Il Postino). Staying true to his independent spirit, Bobby’s currently developing several other films including “The Woman Who Wouldn’t Talk”, based on Susan McDougal and the price she paid for refusing to testify against President Clinton during the Whitewater investigation; as well as a retelling of the Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winning play, A THOUSAND CLOWNS; and a bio-pic of famed gangster, Lucky Luciano, focusing on his role in helping the Allied war effort in World War II.
JENNIFER YUH NELSON
Jennifer Yuh Nelson made her feature film directorial debut with Kung Fu Panda 2, the sequel to the Academy Award®-nominated original film from 2008. The film has earned more than $665 million at the worldwide box-office, making her the highest-grossing female director at the global box office. Ms. Nelson has lent her talents to a variety of DreamWorks Animation’s motion pictures including: 2008’s Kung Fu Panda (as head of story), 2005’s Madagascar (as story artist), 2003’s Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas (as head of story) and 2002’s Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (also as story artist). Prior to joining DreamWorks Animation, Ms. Nelson worked at HBO Animation, developing various projects and short series. She has worn many hats, serving as director, story artist and character designer for HBO’s animated series Spawn, which won an Emmy Award in 1999 for Outstanding Animated Program. Ms. Nelson’s career in animation has spanned several countries, including Korea and Japan, where she oversaw animation for HBO. Ms. Nelson has also worked in Sydney, Australia, serving as a story artist and illustrator for the live-action feature Dark City for Mystery Clock Productions. Ms. Nelson attended California State University, Long Beach where she received a BFA in illustration. She has also published several independent comic books. Jennifer will be honored for her award winning work in feature film animation.
James Hong was a civil engineer in Los Angeles for many years but became interested in acting and has since played roles in over 500 films, television shows, and video games. Hong recently won an Annie Award for his role as Mr. Ping in “Kung Fu Panda Holiday Special”, and is currently nominated for an Emmy Award for the television series. James just wrapped the big budget sci-fi action film “R.I.P.D.” based upon the comic book, starring as Ryan Reynolds’ “Avatar” alongside Jeff Bridges and Kevin Bacon. Hong has starred in such classics as “Blade Runner”, “Wayne’s World 2”, “The Day The Earth Stood Still”, “Big Trouble In Little China”, “Mulan” and “Airplane”. Hong’s career spans over 50 years and is considered one of the most prolific and well-recognized Asian-American character actors in motion picture and television history. He is one of the founders of the East-West Players and served as president and charter member of the Association of Asian Pacific American Artists. Hong is currently writing, directing and producing his own films. The Burbank International Film Festival is honored to present James Hong with the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Matthew Senreich is a screenwriter, television producer, director and co-creator of the animated series Robot Chicken now in its fifth season on Adult Swim for the Cartoon Network, and won it’s first Annie Award in 2008. In 2009, Matt won an Annie for writing Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode II and in 2011 for Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode III. In 2010, Matt won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Short Format Animated Program. Between seasons of Robot Chicken in 2008-2009, Matt and co-head writer/co-producer Tom Root created a second series called Titan Maximum which immediately became Adult Swim’s highest rated original series. Matt is currently writing, producing, and shooting an animated pilot /presentation for Fox with co-creator Seth Green and Tom Root called Mt. Pleasant. Matt and Seth are also currently in the early stages of an animated Star Wars comedy series with George Lucas. The Burbank International Film Festival is proud to present Matthew Senreich with the Pioneer Award in Television Animation.
MARY SHUTTLEWORTH EDD
Mary Shuttleworth is the Founder and President for Youth for Human Rights International. Born and raised in South Africa, she saw first-hand the devastating effects of the lack of basic human rights, and realized that education was the long-term solution to improving conditions. She earned her Doctorate in Education from Fielding Graduate University, and in 2001 started the non-profit corporation Youth for Human Rights International (YHRI). She is the Executive Producer of the multiple award-winning music video, “United”, a series of PSA’s on human rights, and award-winning short films including “The Story of Human Rights”. Her films and PSA’s are being shown around the world on TV, Cable, and DVD, and “The Story of Human Rights” will be screening in the festival documentary shorts program. Her organization now has groups and chapters in more than 100 countries around the world. She has visited over 80 countries to promote her Human Rights Education, meeting with Kings, Presidents, Prime Ministers, and United Nations officials. The mayor of Los Angeles proclaimed “Youth for Human Rights Day” for the City of Los Angels, and the mayor of Burbank officially acknowledged her in both 2010 and 2011. Through her efforts, she has reached millions of people around the world by inspiring leadership through education. The Burbank International Film Festival is honored to present this year’s festival “Awareness Award” to Mary Shuttleworth and her son, Taron Lexton.