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. This years Honorees include:
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 honor Shane Black and the other Honorees at this years Closing Night Awards Gala.
Award winning composer Marco Beltrami established an early reputation as a genre innovator with non-traditional horror scores for the “Scream” franchise and “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark”. Beltrami’s musical palette has since expanded to virtually all film genres ranging from epic drama to dark comedy. Marco has worked with some of the most recognizable names in the industry including Kathryn Bigelow, Guillermo Del Torro, James Mangold, Robert Rodriguez, Luc Besson and David Goyer to name a few. Beltrami has received two Academy Award nominations for Best Score for 3:10 to Yuma, and shortly after for his score to the Academy Award- Winning film for Best Picture, The Hurt Locker. Beltrami’s score for “Soul Surfer” won the 2012 Satellite Award for “Best Film Score of The Year”. Recent projects include “Trouble with the Curve”, “The Sessions”, “A Good Day to Die Hard”, and “Warm Bodies”. Beltrami has lent his musical voice to such unique hit films as “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines”, “I-Robot”, “The Thing”, and “Deadfall”. His upcoming films include this summer’s highly anticipated blockbusters’ “Wolverine” and “World War Z”.
John’s first major film role was starring opposite Robert Deniro and Christopher Walken in the “The Deer Hunter”, which garnered five Academy Awards. Another legendary role was playing Claude Bukowski in the film adaptation of the Broadway hit, “Hair”. Other feature films include Terrence Malick’s war film, “The Thin Red Line”, “The Onion Field”, “White Squall” and “The Godfather Part III”. On stage, John appeared on Broadway in David Mamet’s iconic play, “American Buffalo” with Robert Duvall. In more recent years, John’s work has been seen on the small screen as well. He was the recurring character of Donald Lydecker in James Cameron’s series “Dark Angel”, Captain Ransom in the two part episode “Equinox” on “Star Trek: Voyager” and a recurring role as Henry Scudder in the HBO series “Carnivàle”. Other notable TV credits include Guest Starring roles on “Fringe”, “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”, “The District”, “Everwood” and “Law & Order: Criminal Intent”. He is currently starring in the western thriller “The Sorrow” with Michael Madsen and has several upcoming films including the dark romantic comedy “Hit List”, “Bullett” and will be seen playing the President of the United States in the SYFY Original movie “Dark Risng”.
Brenda recently wrote and directed the animated feature film “Brave” for Pixar Animation and won an Academy Award. Brenda was also the first American woman to direct an animated feature film from a major studio for the film “The Prince of Egypt.” After graduating with a BFA in character animation from CalArts, she became a story trainee on Disney’s animated film “The Little Mermaid” and was one of several key story artists on Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast.” She later served as head of story, the first woman to do so in an animated feature film, for Disney’s animated classic “The Lion King.” Chapman also worked in story and development for other Disney animated films such as “The Rescuers Down Under,” “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”, and “Fantasia 2000.” She joined DreamWorks Animation at its inception in the fall of 1994. Chapman moved to Pixar in 2003, where she had a brief stint on “Cars” before beginning development on and directing “Brave”. Chapman conceived the project and was announced as the director of the film, making her Pixar’s first female director. Other credits include “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” “Shrek”, “WALL-E,” “Ratatouille,” “Up” and “Toy Story 3.”
With over 190 films and 16 Oscar nominations, Greg P. Russell is one of the most well respected Sound Mixers in the industry. While at Warner Brothers, Greg mixed such films as “Tequila Sunrise”, “The Bodyguard”, “Usual Suspects”, “Steel Magnolias”, “Star Trek IV”, “Point Break”, and “Stargate”, to name a few. At Sony Studios, Greg mixed some of the biggest blockbusters and has earned Oscar nominations for “The Rock”, “Con Air”, “Armageddon”, “The Mask of Zorro”, “The Patriot”, “Pearl Harbor”, “Spider-Man”, “Spider-Man 2”, “Memoirs of a Geisha”, “Apocalypto”, all three “Transformers” films, “Salt”, and last years James Bond spy-thriller “Skyfall”. Greg has collaborated with some of the most talented director’s in Hollywood. That list includes Sam Mendes, Michael Bay, Sam Raimi, Ron Howard, Tony Scott, Ridley Scott, James L. Brooks, Phillip Noyce, William Friedkin, Tim Burton, Kathyrn Bigelow, Barry Sonnenfeld, Mel Gibson, Rob Marshall, Jon Turteltaub, Rob Riener, Paul Verhoeven, Adrian Lyne, Roland Emmerich, Martin Campbell, Bryan Singer, Jonathan Mostow, Richard Donner, John Avildsen, Herbert Ross, Simon West, Lawrence Kasden and Nicolas Meyer among others.
Neville Page is a creature and concept designer who has worked with such luminaries as Ridley Scott on “Prometheus“, James Cameron on “Avatar“, and J.J. Abrams on “Star Trek“, “Star Trek Into Darkness“, “Super 8” and “Cloverfield“. Other feature films include “Oblivion”, “Green Lantern”, “Tron: Legacy”, “Watchmen”, and the upcoming Russel Crowe film, “Noah“. Notable TV credits include “Falling Skies” and “Terra Nova”. Setting out for Hollywood at the age of 17, Page survived on small acting gigs in day-time soaps like “General Hospital“ while putting together an increasingly impressive art portfolio. He performed as a stand-up comedian at the Ice House and the Improv to pay for his training at the Art Center College of Design. Page graduated with honors in 1990 and immediately started a design consultancy with his best friend and studio partner, Scott Robertson. In addition to his feature film credits, Neville is currently involved as a design consultant for the entertainment, toy, and automotive industries; and is developing his own line of educational art products.
World reknowned artist and sculptor Mike Hill began his career as a makeup artist for local British television, creating quick change disguises for on-air personalities. As he was quickly carving a niche as one of the worlds greatest portrait sculptors, he was contacted by iconic comic book artist Alex Ross who comissioned life-size versions of Mike’s interpretation of his own Batman and Superman creations. Ross featured Mike’s work prominently in his book, “Mythology“. Mike moved to Los Angeles and began working alongside film legend Rick Baker on such films as “The Wolfman” and “M.I.B. III”. Most recently Mike sculpted the prosthetics that brought the Emmy nominated “Pepper” to life on “American Horror Story”. In addition to film work, Mike is best known for re-creating iconic horror characters for clients such as Hugh Hefner, Peter Jackson and Guillermo del Toro. His pieces also grace the inside cover of Metallica’s Kirk Hammet’s new book, “Too Much Horror Business”. We are very pleased to honor Mike’s artistic vision and talents as one of this years esteemed Honorees.
Dave O’Brien has produced social- media campaigns and documentary films that tell the untold stories of social inequities and injustice. Dave was honored with the “Paul Stark Warrior Award” for HIV prevention for his innovative HIV prevention transmedia campaign “In the Moment”. His feature documentary, “Equality U” received the Outstanding Emerging Talent award at Outfest as well as several Best Documentary and Best Feature awards. He produced the indie feature “The Man Who Shook The Hand Of Vicente Fernan- dez”, starring Academy-Award winner Ernest Borgnine as a man who over- comes racism. His next film “Shot”, is an indie feature addressing gun violence to be directed by Emmy-Winner Jeremy Kagan. Dave teaches documentary production at Cal State Long Beach and producing at University of Southern California where he is Associate Director of their Change Making Media Lab. In 2011, BIFF created the “Awareness Award” to honor individuals that utilize the art of filmmaking to not only educate, but transform the publics awareness concerning socially conscious issues. We are pleased to honor Dave O’ Brien with this years “Awareness Award”.
SAG-AFTRA represents more than 165,000 actors, announcers, broadcast journalists, dancers, DJs, news writers, news editors, program hosts, puppeteers, recording artists, singers, stunt performers, voiceover artists and other entertainment and media professionals. The SAG-AFTRA EEO & Diversity Department monitors discriminatory employment practices, including sexual harassment, and works to increase opportunities for its diverse pool of members. In addition to enforcing and strengthening non-discrimination provisions in collective bargaining agreements, the department provides support, counsel and strategic advice to members, administrative and technical assistance to support policies, programs and initiatives aimed at diversifying the entertainment and news media, and is a vocal advocate challenging discrimination in the industry. At the heart of SAG-AFTRA’s diversity initiatives are the following seven committees: Asian Pacific American Media; Ethnic Employment Opportunities; Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender; Native Americans; Performers With Disabilities; Seniors; and Women. Committees, like unions, provide strength in numbers, moral support and a forum for the voice of members to be heard. For more information visit SAGAFTRA.org. Last year, BIFF created the very first “Diversity Award” and honored DGA Director Jenni Gold for her documentary film, “Cinemability”. We are very pleased to honor the SAG-AFTRA EEO & Diversity Department with this years award for their continued work.
GO PUBLIC: A Day in the Life of an American School District is a 90-minute video document of a single day in an urban public school district, from sun up to long after sundown. On May 8, 2012, 50 directors and their small camera crews followed 50 individuals who attend, support and work in the Pasadena Unified School District, a racially and economically diverse district with 28 public school campuses. Administrators, teachers, students, support staff and volunteers lead us on journeys that reveal their unique contributions in making a public school district function. No voice-over narratives or expert commentaries, just an authentic window into the world of public education. GO PUBLIC is important because there is a national crisis of confidence surrounding public education. This film gives audiences a chance to actually see and hear the people living the public school experience. Last year, BIFF created the “President’s Innovation Award” to honor a filmmaker or project that pushes the boundaries of filmmaking and takes cinematic storytelling to a new level through a fresh and innovative approach. We are very pleased to honor “Go Public” and its Producers James and Dawn O’Keefe with this years “President’s Innovation Award”.