2022 submissions are now being accepted
Iconic actors Ed Asner and Marion Ross will be special honorees at this year’s festival. Ed Asner is known for his work as Lou Grant in both television series The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Lou Grant. He played Santa in the film Elf and was the voice of Carl in the Pixar film Up. Ed will be receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Opening Night Premier of “Stallone: Frank, That Is” at the AMC 16 Theatres.
Marion Ross is well known as Mrs. Cunningham from Happy Days. She was also in the show Brooklyn Bridge as Sophie Berger, as well as making appearances on The Drew Carey Show and Gilmore Girls and many other TV programs. She will be receiving the “Garry Marshall Spirit Award” at the Closing Night Gala & Awards Show at The Marriott Hotel & Convention Center.
Marc “Babaloo” Mandel was born in New York City and attended Queens College, City University of New York, before leaving for Hollywood in 1972. There he met Ganz. It was Ganz who gave him the nickname “Babaloo”, after the character Babaloo Mandel in Philip Roth’s novel Portnoy’s Complaint. Both men worked on the television series Happy Days, Mandel as a creative consultant, Ganz as supervising producer and Mandel wrote two episodes of Laverne & Shirley, the hit spinoff of Happy Days that Ganz co-created with Rothman and producer Garry Marshall. As a result of that connection, they were offered their first big break – the movie Night Shift – by series star Ron Howard and his friend, producer Brian Grazer. Howard directed Nightshift, and it was Grazer’s first feature film as producer. The writing duo later re-teamed with Howard on Splash, for which Mandel, Ganz and Bruce Jay Friedman won the National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Screenplay. Mandel, Ganz, Friedman and Grazer were also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen.
Ganz was born in New York City, and grew up in Queens, New York. While attending Queens College, City University of New York, he and his friend Mark Rothman wrote several comedic skits and shows for school productions. Rothman’s father, a chauffeur, was able to pass a spec script of theirs to Tony Randall which ultimately led the two becoming staff writers and a promotion for Ganz to Head Writer, working for producer Garry Marshall.In 1974, Ganz moved on to writing for Happy Days and co-created two of its spin-off series, Laverne and Shirley and Joanie Loves Chachi. Ganz and Rothman continued to write together until 1981. Not long after that, Ganz met Babaloo Mandel and decided to team up. In 1982, Ganz and Mandel, along with fellow television collaborators Ron Howard and Henry Winkler, made the decision to make the jump to feature films. Howard had already directed several low budget features for producer Roger Corman and wanted to do a studio film. Winkler wanted a role that would be a contrast to his iconic “Fonzie” character from Happy Days. The result was Night Shift, a comedy about a pair of city morgue employees working the night shift who turn the morgue into a bordello.The success of Night Shift marked the beginning of a creative partnership that has flourished for close to four decades.
Shane Black recently wrote, directed and produced the Marvel blockbuster action film “Iron Man 3” which continues to break box office records worldwide, making it one of Marvels highest grossing films of all-time. For “Iron Man 3”, Black re-teamed with Robert Downey Jr. who starred in his feature film directorial debut, “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang”. Black is considered one of the pioneer screenwriters of the action genre, making his mark as a screenwriter with his script for “Lethal Weapon”, effectively creating the buddy cop chemistry between Danny Glover and Mel Gibson that would continue for three more “Lethal Weapon” sequels. From there, Black wrote a series of big budget action films including “The Last Boy Scout” with Bruce Willis, “The Long Kiss Goodnight” with Geena Davis and Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury), and a re-write on “Last Action Hero” starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. His scripts often combine action, thriller, noir and (black) comedy elements. In addition to his award-winning writing, Black can be seen on the big screen as an actor in such genre films as “Predator”. Currently Shane is busy bringing his childhood hero “Doc Savage”, another iconic comic book character to the big screen for DC Entertainment. The Burbank International Film Festival is pleased to have Shane Black and other Honorees back this year to present at this years Closing Night Awards Gala. (Appearances are always based upon celebrities availability).
Winter began her film career at age seven in director Shane Black’s hit cult film, “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” and currently stars on ABC’s critically acclaimed and Emmy® winning hit series, “Modern Family” playing ‘Alex Dunphy,’ the brainy middle child in the Dunphy family. Winter also stars on Disney Jr. as the title character for the series “Sofia the First”. Ariel appeared on stage in the production of “Truck Stop” — a 1970s based drama centered on the friendship between a kid with cerebral palsy and a troubled runaway. Feature films include the thriller “Duress”, “Young Trixie” in Warner Bros.’ “Speed Racer”, “The Chaperone” opposite WWE star Paul Levesque (Triple H) and a lead role in the hit thriller “One Missed Call” where she plays the killer in the film. Television credits include the female lead in the TV movie, “Fred 2: Night of the Living Fred”, the sequel to the hit film, “Fred: The Movie”, a recurring role on the final six episodes of the award winning drama “ER” and guest-starring roles on hit TV shows Criminal Minds” “Crossing Jordan”, Nip/Tuck” and “Bones”. Winter is an avid singer and young activist. She is involved in several charities and organizations such as the Creative Coalition, the Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry, WWE’s anti-bullying campaign Be A Star and GLSEN. We are thrilled that Ariel will be presenting the festival’s first ever “Youth in Cinema” award.
Tyler was born in Santa Monica, California, and lives in the Los Angeles area with his two dogs. He is the son of Cyndi Garcia and actor/writer John Posey. Tyler developed an early interest in the arts, and began his acting career performing on stage with his actor/writer dad, at the age of six. He is also a singer and songwriter. Posey was cast in his breakout role as the lead in the MTV television series “Teen Wolf”, based on the 1985 film of the same name. Posey plays high school student Scott McCall, who is bitten by a werewolf and must keep this fact secret while protecting his loved ones from a host of supernatural threats and beings and became a co-producer for the fifth season of the show. Currently Posey plays Shane, a series regular on the third season of the MTV slasher television series “Scream”. On the Big screen, Tyler was cast as Lucas in the Blumhouse supernatural thriller film “Truth or Dare”, appeared in the film “Collateral Damage” and played Jennifer Lopez’s son in the romantic comedy “Maid in Manhattan”. Posey also voiced a character in the pilot of the Disney original cartoon “SheZow” and co-starred with Twilight actor Booboo Stewart in the film “White Frog”. Other notable TV credits include “Jane The Virgin”, “Brothers and Sisters”, “Lincoln Heights” and “Smallville”.
Born in Hoboken, New Jersey and raised in Ft. Lauderdale, Jennifer Taylor made her film debut in “Wild Things” portraying Matt Dillon’s girlfriend. While living in Miami, she also appeared in the Adam Sandler comedy “The WaterBoy.”
Since moving to Los Angeles she has guest-starred on numerous series such as “NCIS”, and “Mom”, and recurring roles on “Burn Notice”, “Shameless” and most recently “The Young and the Restless”. She has also starred in several Lifetime movies such as “ Stalked by my Mother”. But she is most well known for her work on the hit sit-com, “Two and A Half Men”. Taylor played Charlie Sheen’s fiancée for nearly 40 episodes before Sheen left the show. Taylor leads a multi-faceted life when she’s not acting. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Science, enjoys archery, and books. Jennifer is about to launch her Indiegogo campaign to produce and star in the screenplay “Unfaithfully His” which she wrote. She resides in Los Angeles with her husband and two children where she loves to cook from scratch and spend time with her family.
Isaac C. Singleton Jr. not only makes a living playing big, scary guys, but is also known for his comedic wit. The 6-foot-5 actor can be seen as the menacing Bo’sun in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. For Pirates, he admits his character only had two emotions in the film, angry and annoyed. Other roles include the air marshal in the feature film Anger Management, an evil alien in Galaxy Quest and an ape-soldier in Planet of the Apes. Isaac is extremely well-spoken and articulate and has the kind of resonating bass voice reminiscent of James Earl Jones. Isaac has done voice-over work on over 100 video games including Transformers, Halo 4, Street Fighter 3 & 4 and World of Warcraft. On television, his dramatic credits include The X-Files, Crossing Jordan, Marshall Law and Wanted to name a few. Isaac also showed off his comedic chops on hit comedy shows including The Sarah Silverman Project, Arliss, Sabrina The Teenage Witch and MAD-TV. We are pleased to once again have Issac as one of our celebrity presenters this year.
EMMY-Nominated actor-producer David Millbern first emerged as a child actor in such iconic commercials as McDonald’s “Glasses to Go” and was the smile behind their “Sundae Smile” campaign, among many others. By 17, David had already studied and worked with Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio in NYC. After graduating from Northwestern University, a contract role playing ‘Lance Hirt’ on ABC’s General Hospital brought him to L.A. David’s first film was a lead in Roger Corman’s, “The Slumber Party Massacre”, which became a cult favorite. Next was a lead in “Sorceress” also for Corman and when honored by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences a few years ago, Corman mentioned his fondness for David’s work in both films. More feature film roles followed including Sir Ian McKellen’s doctor in the Oscar-winning “Gods And Monsters”, Mariel Hemingway’s captor in “In Her Line Of Fire”, and Alfred Molina’s match in “Texas Rangers”. MOWs include leads in Past Obsessions, An Accidental Christmas, Fatal Reunion for Lifetime; Christmas Do-Over, I’ll Remember April, I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus for ABC Family; and Ice Spiders, Chupacabra: Dark Seas for SYFY. David starred in Amanda and the Alien for Showtime, and Error in Judgment and Sanctimony, both for HBO. David created the voice of ‘Lt. Louie Nichols’ in the award-winning animated series Robotech. After receiving an EMMY Nomination for producing The Ribbon of Hope Celebration with the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, David dove head first into his love of storytelling by becoming an actor-producer hyphenate. David produced the female thriller, “The Nurse” and the comedic parody, “Hush Up Sweet Charlotte”. He produces Cinema Conversations for HERE TV as well as their sit-com, From here! on OUT, starring EMMY-winner Juliet Mills. David won the prestigious Sabre Award for producing Live From the Daytime EMMY’s Red Carpet and is a co-creator and host of the game show, Modd Couples on Hulu.
Kelly is most known for her role as Kelly in the hit comedy series “Superstore”, “Get Shorty”, “Speechless” and “Two and a Half Men”. She also appeared on “The Bold and The Beautiful”. Recurring television roles include the series, “The Exes”, “No Tomorrow”, “Malibu Dan The Family Man” and “Romantically Challenged”. Kelly’s feature film work includes “Horrible Bosses 2”, “Baby Daddy”, “W.I.T.C.H.”, “Telling Lies”, The Dragon Hunter” and “The Ring 2”. Kelly also does a variety of voice work including “Sophia The First“ for Disney, “Trollhunters: Tales of Arcadia and “The Angry Birds Movie 2”.
David maintains his position as one of the most prolific actors/filmmakers in the faith based arena, as he writes, directs, produces and stars in many of the films including “SIX…the Mark Unleashed”, “The Moment After 1,2,” “In the Blink of an Eye”, “Hidden Secrets”, “Holyman Undercover,” “Run On”, “Marriage Retreat”, “Me Again”, “Jerusalem Countdown” and the “Revelation Road” movies. In late 2005, David became a founding partner in the film distribution/production entity Pure Flix which maintains its position as the number one Faith based studio, producing and distributing more films in this genre than anyone in the market.
Gigi is undoubtedly best known for her role as Chiana on the science fiction TV series Farscape. She originally was hired for only one episode, but by the beginning of Season 2, she was promoted to be a series regular on the show, appearing in total of 68 episodes. Guest starring roles on TV, include “The Lost World”, “BeastMaster” and popular Australian TV shows such as “The Secret Life of Us” and “Stingers”. She starred as the female lead in the critically acclaimed Australian Drama/Thriller “Last Train to Freo” and was nominated for a Best Actress in a Lead Role by the Film Critics Circle of Australia. She also had a supporting role in the USA Network TV miniseries “The Starter Wife” and became a regular on the Aussie T.V. series “Rescue Special Ops”. Most recently, Gigi hosted “Jim Henson’s Creature Shop Challenge” on the SyFy Channel. As a child, Gigi Edgley performed both in and out of school. She became mainly interested in acting and had her first professional theatrical engagement at the Twelfth Night Theater. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Queensland University of Technology and she began acting steadily in Australia on T.V. As a believer in the school of method acting, Gigi has developed a broad set of skills and experiences for her roles. She is proficient in ballet, jazz, character dance, singing, and martial arts.
Crystal Allen is a Canadian actress with major roles in television and film. She starred opposite Brandon Routh in “Crooked Arrows” and “Ghost Storm” with Carlos Bernard. She is currently a series regular on the Canadian sitcom Canooks as a series regular and is also known for her portrayal of the Orion Slave Girl D’nesh on the Star Trek series “Enterprise” and as Navigator Yara in the popular independent film, “Of Gods and Men”. Allen’s additional notable performances are on hit TV shows such as “Castle”, “Body of Proof”, “Haven”, “Prison Break”, “Desperate Housewives”, “Boston Legal”, “Navy NCIS”, “Modern Men”, “Sex and the City”, “The Sopranos”, and the feature film “Maid in Manhattan” and the Hallmark movie “Falling in Love with the Girl Next Door”. Allen starred in the latest two sequels to their already hit films Anaconda 3 & 4. Crystal has been a guest to the Monaco TV Festival in past years and in 2013 was a member of the festival jury. We are pleased to once again have Crystal as one of our celebrity presenters this year.
A true Renaissance man, Sean Kanan epitomizes the expression “triple threat“ having achieved success as an actor, producer and writer. Sean’s newest book, Success Factor X, became an Amazon new release best seller one week after its release and is now available on Amazon. Sean’s career exploded with his breakout performance as a villain, Mike Barnes, in the Karate Kid III beating out over two thousand hopefuls to his iconic roles in daytime television playing black sheep AJ Quartermaine on General Hospital to his critically acclaimed portrayal of Deacon Sharpe on The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful, television’s most syndicated show in history seen in over one hundred countries. Having appeared in more than one thousand episodes of network television and fifteen feature films, Sean is recognized around the world. Sean splits his time between Los Angeles and Palm Springs where he dedicates his free time to charitable endeavors, practicing martial arts, traveling and studying multiple foreign languages.
At the age of 13, Kirkland began making super 8 films and working for his father creating “making of” films for major production companies and sparked Kirkland’s desire to seek a career in the entertainment industry. Kirkland developed an interest in drawing at an early age. At the age of 17, he began studying in the Experimental Animation Program at the California Institute of the Arts, earning a BFA degree. In 1976, he won the Student Academy Award for the graphically animated film made to the song “Fame” by David Bowie. After graduating, he applied to Disney, but he was not accepted and instead began working for Hanna-Barbara. He began working on The Simpsons in season two and has since directed over 78 episodes and in season 18, he became the show’s supervising director. Kirkland has won three Primetime Emmy Awards, two Environmental Media Awards and a Pioneer in Television Animation Award from the Burbank International Film Festival for his work on The Simpsons. As an independent filmmaker, Kirkland has written, directed and produced award-winning short films which have been shown at film festivals around the world and screened at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Kirkland is also an accomplished still photographer whose images have been published in US and People magazines. In 2014, we presented Mark with the “President’s Innovation Award” for his short film “The Moving Picture Co. 1914”. We are pleased to have Mark presenting this years Animation Award.