By Valerie Milano
Burbank, CA (The Hollywood Times) 9/14/22 – When we first stepped foot on the red carpet of the Burbank Film Festival for coverage, we were struck by one thing in particular – the sheer joy of seeing so many talented, fresh faces there to celebrate the joy of a movie well-made.
The 14th installment of this remarkable tradition, affectionately known as “BIFF” by insiders, was held September 8-11, in the “Media Capital of the World,” they like to point out. In downtown Burbank, they all came together, and we had a chance to mingle with them, and capture them in some of their most profound accomplishments. “As media capital of the world, Burbank is home to media giants The Walt Disney Company, Warner Bros Studios, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, Netflix, and 1000 other production companies,” reads a letter from Burbank Mayor Jess A Talamantes. “Few cities from about the world can match Burbank’s vast media presence.”
That lofty statement is almost an understatement, and we saw that firsthand. While we’ve covered the festival for years, this year felt like a renewal, especially after the events of the Covid 19 pandemic. Held at AMC theaters, the event began with a lovely opening night ceremony, featured films over the course of the four day run, and a Gala Reception. Film screenings, the requisite celebrity and industry professional Q&A’s, and red carpet receptions peppered the proceedings, and the whole thing ended on a high note with the closing night gala dinner and awards ceremony on September 11. “We shine a light on the unknown artist of today, helping them become the celebrated filmmakers of tomorrow,” their official site reads.
In years past, industry giants like Beau Bridges have been honored at BIFF. This year did not disappoint, with legendary director Tim Burton receiving the Native Burbank Visionary Award at their Sept 11 Awards Gala. Christine Lakin served as host for the event. Opening night screenings included The Way Out, Re-Opening: A Lockdown Mockumentary, and an afterparty at FunTon Stage 1 kept the fun going.
The Grand Bolero and We Want Airwaves followed on Friday, September 9, with No More Goodbyes, Liberty, All Eyes, They Crawl Beneath, and Jimmy and Caroline presenting on September 10. Finally, The Day I Found a Girl in the Trash, How Does it Feel to Be A Problem, Sweet Disaster, Tiger 24, and The Red Tide Massacre wrapped things up on Sunday, September 11.
Needless to say, we were beyond impressed, and especially noted the festival’s strong horror genre showing. So by the time the Closing Night Dinner and Awards Ceremony arrived at the Marriott Airport Hotel & Convention Center, we were truly grateful to be among such extraordinary talent, celebrating each step they take towards stardom. We will return in 2023.