ED ASNER – Honoree
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 – Honoree
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.
BABALOO MANDEL – Honoree
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.
LOWELL GANZ – Honoree
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 – Presenter
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).
JOE MANTEGNA – Presenter
FRITZ COLEMAN – Presenter
Fritz Coleman is NBC4’s weathercaster on the weekday editions of Channel 4 News. A Southern California broadcasting icon, Coleman is well known for his sense of humor and extensive knowledge of weather. He joined NBC4 in February 1982, as the weekend weathercaster, and moved up to weekdays in 1984. Coleman has been named “Best Weathercaster” in nearly every major paper in Southern California, including the Orange County Register, the San Bernardino Sun, and four times in the Los Angeles Daily News. Coleman won a number of awards and honors for his dedication to community service. The City of L.A. named Coleman a “Treasure of Los Angeles” in 1999, and the United States House of Representatives gave him the Humanitarian of the Year Award for his fundraising efforts on behalf of the American Red Cross. Coleman has also been honored by the Los Angeles Chapter of the Salvation Army for his long-time commitment to the organization and his efforts as Christmas Fundraising Chairman and for chairing the annual Fritz Coleman Fair Weather Golf Tournament. A long-time stand-up comic, Coleman has performed at The Improvisation, The Ice House and other Southern California comedy clubs. He has utilized his humor in a number of series and specials that have aired on NBC4, including “Fritz and Friends” and “The Perils of Parenting,” receiving four Los Angeles area Emmy Awards for his work. He has also written, produced, and starred in three one-man plays. Fritz is the unofficial Mayor of Toluca Lake and uses his name and celebrity to support a variety of charitable organizations and to help the less fortunate. Fritz’s philanthropy, sense of humor and continual commitment to the community is why The Marshall Family and Burbank International Film Festival were proud to honor Fritz with last years “Garry Marshall Spirit Award”. We are pleased and excited to have Fritz back this year to present the Garry Marshall Spirit Award to this years recipient.
ARIEL WINTER – Presenter
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.
LOU FERRIGNO – Presenter
TYLER POSEY – Presenter
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”.
JENNIFER TAYLOR – Presenter
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. – Presenter
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.
David Millbern – Presenter
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 STABLES – Presenter
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 A.R. White – Presenter
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.
VERONICA CARTWRIGHT – Presenter
Accomplished character actress Veronica Cartwright is an English-born American actress who has worked mainly in American film and television in a career spanning six decades. Her career as a child actress began in 1958 after her family moved to Los Angeles in the mid-1950s. Veronica landed good feature roles, ranging from her debut in In Love and War to the kleptomaniac forced to lie about her teachers in William Wyler’s The Children’s Hour. She was also the daughter of the family terrorized by Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds, Henry Fonda’s child in Spencer’s Mountain and episodes of One Step Beyond: The Haunting and The Twilight Zone episode, I Sing the Body Electric. Cartwright also had the recurring role of the bullying Violet Rutherford (who gave Theodore his first kiss) on ABC’s “Leave It to Beaver” and spent two seasons as the frontiersman’s daughter Jemima, on the NBC series “Daniel Boone”. She is perhaps best known for her roles in The Right Stuff, The Rat Pack, the science fiction films Invasion of the Body Snatchers and Alien for which she won a Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress. Other films and TV shows include Witches of Eastwick, Flight of The Navigator and The X-Files. Veronica also won a regional Emmy for the TV movie Tell Me Not in Mournful Numbers. The Burbank International Film Festival is proud to present Veronica Cartwright with the Lifetime Achievement Award for over six decades of award-winning work as an actress in Hollywood.
SARAH HALLEY FINN – Presenter
Sarah Halley Finn is an award-winning Casting Director who has cast over 90 feature films spanning every genre. Sheís enjoyed collaborating with an esteemed group of filmmakers and participating in the discovery of new talent over almost two decades. With 35 films opening at the top of the domestic box office, she also has a track record thatís unparalleled. A graduate of Yale University and member of AMPAS, she has been featured in Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Elle and Backstage Magazine. In addition to the Oscar-winning film, “Crash”, Sarah is known for casting Marvelís Cinematic Universe for the last decade, from the first Iron Man through the Avengers films, and including Guardians of the Galaxy, Ant-Man, Doctor Strange, Spiderman: Homecoming and the upcoming Black Panther. She has also contributed to Legendary’s Monsterverse, casting Godzilla, Kong: Skull Island, Pacific Rim: Uprising and the Godzilla sequel which is currently filming in Atlanta. Other film credits range from Jon Favreau comedies like Chef to Oliver Stone dramas, indie favorites like Martin McDonough’s Seven Psychopaths and The Nice Guys, sports films like Miracle and Coach Carter, and the animated classics The Little Prince and The Jungle Book. Some action favorites are Fast & Furious and Kick-Ass, and television work includes Marvel’s Agents of S.h.i.e.l.d and Agent Carter. Upcoming releases will be Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri, Thor: Ragnarok and Shane Black’s The Predator. Sarah served on the Executive Board of Women in Film, and is on the Board of Advisors for the highly acclaimed MasterClass educational series.
TIPPI HEDREN – Presenter
Tippi Hedren was born in Minnesota in 1930. As a young girl she began a modeling career that later took her to New York and Los Angeles. In the early 1960s her role in a television commercial caught the eye of famed director Alfred Hitchcock, who signed her to a contract and gave her the lead in his films The Birds and Marnie. While her roles earned her critical acclaim and made her star, Hedrenís relationship with Hitchcock quickly soured and the two parted ways. While continuing her work in television and film, Hedren has also devoted a good portion of her time to a range of charities, most significantly with animal-rights and wildlife-conservation causes. In the early 1970s she founded the Shambala Preserve in Southern California as a sanctuary for rescued exotic cats, and in 1983 she founded the Roar Foundation to continue her work with animals. During her career, she has received countless awards for both her acting and charitable endeavors. Hedren has been married three times and is the mother of actress Melanie Griffith and the grandmother of actress Dakota Johnson. Tippi now lives in a home built on the Shambala Reserve so she can always be near her beloved animals. The Burbank International Film Festival is proud to present Tippi Hedren with this years Awareness Award for her animal rights activism and for her amazing career as an actress.
KATHLEEN MARSHALL – Presenter
Daughter of Garry Marshall, Kathleen oversaw the construction of her father’s Falcon Theatre in Burbank. She has been producing theatre there for the last 16 years which were subscription based seasons. She also produced productions of “Happy Days: The New Musical” with the book by Garry and music and lyrics by Paul Williams. She is currently producing “Pretty Woman: The Musical” which is headed to Broadway in the fall of 2018. It was Garry’s wish that the theatre continue to serve as a welcome home for established artists as well as emerging talent. Kathleen has led the transition team to create the Garry Marshall Theatre, a new nonprofit theatre and is excited to serve on the theatre’s board of directors this inaugural year. The Burbank International Film Festival and the Marshall family are proud to honor Fritz Coleman with this years “Garry Marshall Spirit Award”.
Louis Herthum – Presenter
Louis had a breakthrough year when he was cast as Peter Abernathy, father to Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) and one of the first robots to experience programming glitches on the acclaimed HBO sci-fi series “Westworld”. On the big screen, Herthum can next be seen in “Cadaver” and Miramax’s “Labyrinth” with Johnny Depp. His first “big break” came when he joined the cast of the long-running hit CBS series “Murder, She Wrote,” starring as Deputy Andy Broom. His recurring television roles include Netflix’s “Longmire,” and werewolf pack leader JD in season 5 of HBO’s supernatural drama “True Blood.” Guest starring roles include the Netflix series Philip K. Dick’s “Electric Dreams”, “Narcos”, “Chicago Med”, “Training Day”, “True Detective”, “Treme” and “Breaking Bad” to name a few. On the big screen, Herthum starred in the horror films “The Last Exorcism” and “The Last Exorcism 2,” and other notable indie & studio films. Herthum has appeared in over 40 stage productions, dozens of commercials and over 100 films & TV shows. Louis added “Producer” to his resume, producing his first feature film, “Favorite Son”. Since then Louis has, through his Louisiana based production company Ransack Films, produced a total of five narrative features, including the award winning thriller, “Red Ridge” and one feature length documentary.
McKenzie Westmore – Presenter
Mckenzie is most recognized for playing the role of Sheridan Crane in the long running soap opera “Passions”. Recently she stars as the Host of the hit SYFY series “Face-Off” along side her Oscar and Emmy award-winning father, makeup artist and designer Michael Westmore. Mckenzie is currently launching a new makeup line through QVC to celebrate her family’s 100 year anniversary in the television and motion picture industry and to keep the Westmore family name established in the makeup industry. McKenzie began her career at the age of three playing Robert De Niro’s daughter in the Oscar-wining film”Raging Bull”. Her parents then entered her into acting and singing classes and the rest is history. Her appearances on stage include “Dido and Aneas”, “The Sound of Music” and “Little Shop of Horrors” to name a few. McKenzie’s other roles in film and screen include Star Trek: Insurrection, Star Trek: Voyager, Weird Science, Star Trek: The Next Generation and NBC’s Days of Our Lives and a guest appearance on NBC’s hit comedy “Friends”. Besides acting, McKenzie is a trained equestrian and personal trainer. McKenzie will be presenting her father with a special Honoree Award for Makeup/Design.
LEONARDO NAM – Presenter
Leonardo Nam plays Felix Lutz on the critically acclaimed, award-winning HBO series “Westworld”. Nam is a scene-stealer as Felix, sharing nearly all his scenes with Golden Globe nominated actress Thandie Newton. “Westworld”. Born in Argentina to Korean immigrant parents and raised in Sydney, Australia, Nam attended Sydney Technical High School and studied architecture at the University of New South Wales, before deciding to move to New York City at the age of 19 to pursue his dream of becoming an actor. While in New York, he studied drama at the critically acclaimed HB Studio and also worked with the New York Public Theater/Shakespeare in the Park company and Sigourney Weaver and Jim Simpson’s The Bat Theater Company. His breakout role came in the Paramount Studios comedy “The Perfect Score”; starring Scarlett Johansson, Chris Evans and Erika Christensen. Since then he has gone on to star in a string of movies, namely “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” 1 & 2, “The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift”, “Vantage Point”, “He’s Just Not That Into You”, “One for the Money” and the Sam Raimi produced comedy “Murder Of A Cat.” On the television front Nam has recurred on the Amazon series “Betas,” and has appeared on “Royal Pains,” “Bones,” “Franklin & Bash,” and “Stalker”.
PATRICK FABIAN – Presenter
Patrick Fabian has a long and celebrated career, but he’s having the most fun right now playing Howard Hamlin on the hit television series “Better Call Saul” which is a spin-off of the Emmy Award-winning series, “Breaking Bad”. Television has been the bulk of his career and has had Recurring roles on “Big Love”, “Veronica Mars”, “Providence” and HBO’s “The Newsroom” to name a few. Guest starring roles include “Scandal”, “NCIS”, “Desperate Housewives”, “Criminal Minds”, “Bones”, “Star Trek: Voyager”, “CSI: NY”, “The Mentalist”, and “Friends”. His film the Last Exorcism was an independent 1.3 million dollar horror film which went on to gross over 70 million dollars worldwide and starred Patrick as the male lead. Fans loved his portrayal of the flawed exorcist Rev. Cotton Marcus and he was awarded Best Actor at the prestigious Sitges Catalonian International Film Festival. Other films include “Jimmy”, “Must Love Dogs”, “Tales of Everyday Magic”. “Bad Ass”,”Atlas Shrugged II: The Strike”, “Pig”, “My Greatest Teacher”, “The Good Mother” and “Bad Ass 2: Bad Asses”. On stage, Patrick has worked with some of best playwrights and directors around. He toured America with John Guare’s “Six Degrees of Separation”, directed by Jerry Zaks, Eric Bogosian’s “Humpty Dumpty”, and Nicky Silver’s “The Food Chain”. A converted Californian, Patrick is married to writer/director Mandy Fabian. They live in Los Angeles where they raise their two daughters and two dogs.
DONNELL TURNER – Presenter
You probably recognize Donnell Turner on daytime television for his recurring role playing Curtis Ashford on General Hospital. He also portrayed the character of Dr. Aiden Williams on “Days of Our Lives”. Guest starring roles on television include: “Jane The Virgin”, “How To Get Away With Murder,” “Parks and Recreation”, “Dexter,” “ Anger Management,” “Rizzoli and Isles,” “ 2 Broke Girls,” “Revenge,” “The Mindy Project,” “Teen Wolf,” “CSI,” and “90210. The versatile actor is not a stranger to commercials and print as an in demand model and spokesman. Turner has booked more than 100 print ads worldwide including: Nike, Pepsi, Hilton, Disney, AT&T, Coke and Infinity. In addition to these major brands, he has also worked in 9 national commercial campaigns and was the Mercedes Benz C-Class Spokesman.
GIGI EDGELY – Presenter
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 – Presenter
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.
SEAN KANAN – Presenter
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.
MARK KIRKLAND – Presenter
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.
KEN DAVITIAN – Presenter
Ken Davitian was born in Los Angeles, to an Armenian-American family in Montebello. He is an actor and producer, known for the feature films, “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan”, “The Artist” and “Meet the Spartans”. Television credits include a recurring role on “Ray Donovan” and guest-starring roles on “Hawaii: Five-O”, “Two and a Half Men” and “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” to name a few. Davitian was the Winner of the “Best Villain – Feature” award for “Abstraction” at the “Action On Film International Film Festival” and says his teenage idol was Burt Reynolds, who greatly influenced his choice of becoming an actor. We are pleased to once again have Ken as an awards presenter this year.