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The Burbank International Film Festival is excited to announce the 2021 "President's Innovation Award" for the Docudrama, "Acting: The First Six Lessons" directed by Emily Bridges. We will also be honoring The Bridges Family for three generations of excellence in TV & Film. Lloyd Bridges, Beau Bridges, Jeff Bridges, Jordan Bridges and Emily Bridges who are all in the film.

Emily Bridges is an actress and director, known for Acting: The First Six Lessons (2021), From Up on Poppy Hill (2011) and One Night in Miami... (2020).



An Emmy and Golden Globe award winner, actor Beau Bridges - the eldest son of actor Lloyd Bridges and brother of Jeff Bridges - developed into an amiable character actor after beginning his career as a child star in such films as "Force of Evil" (1948) and Lewis Milestone's "The Red Pony" (1949). Graduating into more adult roles in the late 1960s, Bridges was a diversely talented actor who fit comfortably into a number of genres - drama, comedy, historical biopics, and even science-fiction. Following a praised turn as reporter in "Gaily, Gaily" (1969) and a starring role in Hal Ashby's directorial debut, "The Landlord" (1970), he made his first of several collaborations with director Peter Ustinov in the satirical comedy, "Hammersmith Is Out" (1972). Later in the decade, Bridges was the husband of union organizer "Norma Rae" (1979) and entered the following decade with a starring role in the biopic "Heart Like a Wheel" (1983). He joined his brother for the critically hailed romantic drama, "The Fabulous Baker Boys" (1989), which he followed with an Emmy-winning performance in the title role for "Without Warning: The James Brady Story" (HBO, 1991). Bridges also found great success on the small screen, earning critical acclaim for portraying Elvis' manager Colonel Tom Parker, former U.S. President Richard Nixon, and 19th century showman P.T. Barnum. Entering the new millennium, Bridges showed no sign of slowing down with a recurring role on "Stargate: SG-1" (Sci-Fi Channel, 2005-07), a supporting part in Steven Soderberg's World War II drama, "The Good German" (2006), and a guest-starring role on "Desperate Housewives" (ABC, 2004-12). With his modest gravitas, which always made him a favorite of his many collaborators, Bridges quietly became one of the most prolific character performers working in Hollywood.



Award-winning actor Tony Denison joined the cast of The Closer, starring Kyra Sedgwick, as Det. Andy Flynn, which quickly became TNT’s #1 Drama. He is transitioning his fan-favorite role onto Major Crimes for an additional six successful seasons. Denison has received a Prism Award by the Entertainment Industry Council for Outstanding Performance in a Drama Series and five SAG nominations for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series. More recently, on CBS’ All Rise and ABC’s Castle, Sons of Anarchy, FOX’s Prison Break and feature films Dirty, Atlas Shrugged: Who is John Galt?, Agent Emerson, and Deep Woods.



Priscilla Presley portrayed Jenna Wade on Dallas for 5 years and starred in The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!, reprising her role in The Naked Gun 2½ and The Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult. She is an Executive Producer on the upcoming Sony/Netflix animated series Agent King, fulfilling the dream of Elvis always wanting to be a Federal secret agent. Priscilla is co-executor of the Presley Estate driving the legacy and phenomenally successful organization consisting of the famous Graceland Mansion, a worldwide licensing program, merchandising, music publishing, and television and video projects. She served as an executive producer and was closely involved in the creation and development of two No. 1 Elvis Presley albums (If I Can Dream & The Wonder of You) and a sold out UK & European live concert arena tour.



Jeff Rector is an award-winning writer, director, producer, working actor and President and Festival Director for the Burbank International Film Festival. Jeff's notable TV credits include 

"American Horror Story", "Star Trek: The Next Generation", "The Bold & The Beautiful" to name a few. Feature film credits include co-starring with Matthew Modine in the Netflix drama, "Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admission Scandal", "Dark World", "Save The Wedding for Hallmark Channel and the Lionsgate supernatural thriller "The Black Gate". In addition to Hosting this year's Awards Show, Jeff wrote, directed and produced the show as well. In 2020 during COVID Jeff produced and hosted the Awards Show and was "In Consideration" for 7 Daytime Emmy Awards.


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A dual citizen raised in Los Angeles and the UK, Kristos Andrews has an unprecedented track record of achievements as an actor, artist and athlete. He is an Emmy® award-winning lead actor, Emmy® award-winning director, multiple Emmy® award-winning Producer, multiple Guinness® World Record holder, X Games gold medalist. Kristos is most known for his Emmy® Award winning performance in the crime-romance “The Bay” on Amazon Prime, where he plays the town hero Pete Garrett, opposite on-screen love interest Karrueche Tran.



Rachel Boston has established herself as an incredibly versatile actor in film and television. She got her start starring as Beth Mason on NBC’s award winning series “American Dreams” and has since starred in award winning indie films such as “The Pill” and “500 Days of Summer,” and New Line Cinema’s “Ghosts of Girlfriends Past” with Jennifer Garner and Matthew McConaughey. She is currently recurring as Hannah Oliver on the CBS drama “Seal Team.” Boston has starred in and executive produced several original television movies including “Christmas in Angel Falls” alongside Beau Bridges.



Mike Manning is an Emmy-winning actor and producer, most known for his role in Disney’s “Cloud 9,” on MTV’s “Teen Wolf,” playing the bad boy Charlie Dale on NBC’s “Days of Our Lives,” and in the recent civil rights movie “Son of the South” executive produced by Oscar-winner Spike Lee. Aside from appearing in over 65 film and TV projects, Mike has produced films with some of the biggest names in Hollywood, such as Rosario Dawson, Halle Berry and Jewel. He’s on the board of the Thirst Project and an ambassador for Boo2Bullying, among others.



Kelly Stables is an American actress, comedian and singer. She is known for her work in television comedy including Two and a Half Men, Romantically Challenged, The Exes, No Tomorrow, and most recently Superstore. Active in singing and voice-over work, Kelly is the voice of Joni the Showstoppin’ Pony on Doc McStuffins, Saffron the horse on Sofia the First, Olivia Parker in Adventures in Odyssey, Will in W.I.T.C.H., and Athena in Tom & Jerry: The Lost Dragon, to which she was nominated for the BTVA Best Female Vocal Performance in a Theatrical short. She loves Burbank and congratulates all the BIFF filmmakers, wishing them continued success!



Born in Greece, Evan Spiliotopoulos moved to the United States after high school. Shortly after graduating American University in Washington DC, Evan began pursuing his career as a writer. In 2000, Spiliotopoulos was hired by Disney as a Staff Writer in their animation department. Over the next decade, he wrote over a dozen animated features for Disney including Pooh’s Heffalump Movie, as well as projects for the Weinstein Company and independent producers. Battle For Terra, written for Snoot Pictures, received the Ottawa International Film Festival’s prestigious Grand Prize in 2007. After his stint in the animated world, Evan made the transition into live-action. He wrote Hercules for MGM starring Dwayne Johnson; Universal’s The Huntsman: Winter’s War starring Chris Hemsworth, Emily Blunt, Charlize Theron and Jessica Chastain; Disney’s billion-dollar hit Beauty and the Beast starring Emma Watson; and Paramount’s upcoming Snake Eyes: GI Joe Origins starring Henry Golding. The Unholy is Evan’s directorial debut.



Actress, model and philanthropist currently seen opposite Jared Padalecki in The CW’s “WALKER” (Thursdays 8/7c), appears in CBS All Access series “Why Women Kill,” as well as the film THE WALL OF MEXICO opposite Esai Morales. Best known for her roles on the CW’s “Jane the Virgin,” NBC’s “Telenovela,” CBS’ “Everybody Loves Raymond.” When Alex is not busy acting, she can be found dedicating her time, money and heart her philanthropic and volunteer work.



He has appeared on numerous episodic TV shows such as NCIS Los Angeles and S.W.A.T. Most recently he’s recurred on the new series “Delilah” for the OWN network. Better Call Saul and General Hospital. He can also be seen in an upcoming Netflix series about a serial killer. (Yes, I know this is vague, but I signed an NDA. What do you want from me?) Nigel likes to say, working in this business, is like waiting in line at an amusement park for your favorite ride. The waiting is not so fun, but the rides’ thrill is such you can’t help but get right back in line for another spin. Famous Quote: Everyone Counts Count Everyone



Cerina Vincent is an actor, writer, and producer. Most known from films Cabin Fever and Not Another Teen Movie, kids know her from POWER RANGERS LOST GALAXY and Disney Channel’s, STUCK IN THE MIDDLE. Cerina has starred in Lifetime and Hallmark movies and guest-starred in many hit TV comedies and dramas. She co-wrote a line of best-selling advice books for women from Harper Collins and has a book for babies and toddlers, Everybody has a Belly Button, coming from Skyhorse Publishing in 2022.



EMMY Award winning 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 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. More feature films followed including Sir Ian McKellen’s doctor in the Oscar-winning “Gods and Monsters”, Mariel Heming - way’s captor in “In Her Line of Fire”, and Alfred Molina’s match in “Texas Rangers”.



Sean Kanan has been acting for over three decades in both film and television. His career started at an early age when Oscar-winning director John Avildsen cast him in the now iconic “Karate Kid III”. Kanan recently completed roles in the feature films “In The Absence of Good Men”, “Limelight”, “South 32”, “Failing Hope”, “Extreme Limits”, “Carpool Guy”, “My Trip Back to the Darkside” and “Abracadabra”, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. Established as a martial arts expert in “Karate Kid III”, Kanan went on to use his martial arts skills again in the feature “Chaos Factor”. His ability to speak Italian garnered him the lead role in the film, “Sons of Italy” and landed him on the Italian version of the popular show “Dancing with the Stars”.



Ken Davitian was born in Los Angeles, to an Armenian-American family in Montebello. Davitian worked in his father’s waste management company until graduating from Whittier College. 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.



Christian Ganiere’s comedic spirit has entertained his family and friends with his lively personality and winning smile. He’s been featured in commercials such as Subaru. His Television work incudes 9-1-1, Grey’s Anatomy, Criminal Minds, Days of Our Lives, The Bay; and films like Rekindling Christmas, Wish Man, Driven, and more. He’s received the Presidential Humanitarian award from Obama for his work with kids from intercity after school programs like See Me Learn and non-profit organizations including The Salvation Army. His father, Emmy® nominated James Ganiere is a Producer Guild of America member and his mother Emmy® nominated Rebekah R. Ganiere is USA Today Bestselling Romance Author and Award-winning Screenwriter.


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