For its seventh year, the Burbank International Film Festival has decided to go bigger than ever before. This year, they’ll be screening 140 different films, including a dozen world premieres—which represents more than a 30 percent increase in programming over previous years. It’s all part of an ambitious plan to make Burbank’s local festival a significant destination on the film fest rounds.
How did they find the time to show all those extra films within the same five-day span? Festival director Jeff Rector decided to cut back to basics.
"I'd rather show more films than hear actors talk about themselves," he told the LA Times.
Rector, who has been leading the festival since 2012, also established some new diversity and awareness awards intended to draw in work from filmmakers who might be underrepresented in other festivals and giving Burbank’s screening slate some unique offerings.
Even if you’re not in the mood for global underground film festival fare, there will be a series of pop-culture anniversary screenings as part of the 2016 fest, including celebrations of the 30th anniversaries of Top Gun and Aliens and a 45th anniversary screening of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, which has taken on additional relevance with the recent passing of star Gene Wilder.
While Burbank is home to plenty of studios, tapings and productions for the film industry, it is not usually seen as a high-culture hub in its own right. The festival organizers hope to change that reputation by championing the work of underground and independent filmmakers.
The Burbank International Film Festival runs September 7-11 at the Burbank AMC 16 movie theater. Ticket prices range from $15 for individual screenings to $250 for VIP festival passes.
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