The 5th Annual Burbank International Film Festival (BIFF) will take place Sept. 4—8 in beautiful Downtown Burbank. The festival will kick off its Opening Night at Warner Bros. to celebrate their 90th Anniversary with a screening of the documentary film, The Brothers Warner. Written and directed by Cass Warner Sperling (granddaughter of Harry Warner), the film is an intimate and touching portrait of the four film pioneers who founded and ran Warner Bros. for over 50 years.
The evening will begin with celebrity arrivals, media red carpet, and opening night screening, followed by the Gala Reception in Downtown Burbank at the Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant. There will be delicious food, libations, and adding to the night’s festivities will be a special performance by Emmy award-winning writer and stand-up comedian Brian Kiley (staff writer for Conan O’Brien).
Over 70 independent films will be screened in five days, showcasing films from around the world in a variety of genres. The festival also honors films with socially conscious themes with awards for “Diversity” and “Awareness.” This year, BIFF added a “Faith-based” category as well the “Los Angeles County Student Filmmakers Award” for local middle and high school students.
Last year’s awards winners and success stories include actress and first-time director Bryce Dallas Howard, whose film When You Find Me went on to be a semi-finalist for an Academy Award. Executive producer and actress Daryl Hannah’s film Greedy, Lying, Bastards won “Best Documentary” and was released theatrically. In addition, sixteen-year-old Ian Timothy won “Best Animated Short Film” and is now developing a show for Cartoon Network as a direct result of contacts made at the festival.
The festival will conclude with the Closing Night Dinner and Gala Awards Show at Castaways, with NBC weathercaster and comedian Fritz Coleman once again hosting the event. In addition to the filmmakers’ awards, several Industry Icons will receive special recognition. These include, award winning composer Marco Beltrami (World War Z, The Wolverine), and Academy Award and Emmy-winning special effects make-up artist Michael Westmore (Star Trek: The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise). A complete list of industry honorees and celebrity awards presenters will be announced soon.
BIFF Festival Director and President Jeff Rector is no stranger to Toluca Lake having served on the neighborhood council for five years. Rector said, “I couldn’t be more excited to be partnering with the studios this year, with special thanks to Danny Kahn, executive director of the Warner Bros. VIP Studio Tour for helping to coordinate the opening night event. I would also like to acknowledge The Downtown Burbank Partnership and Woodbury University for their continued support.”
For festival programming, events, tickets, or for more information visit BurbankFilmFest.org. Please email us at info@BurbankFilmFest.org to support the festival as a volunteer, partner, or sponsor.