Burbank Film Festival
With the Burbank International Film Festival slated to run this year from September 5th through the 9th at the Burbank AMC Theatres in Burbank, California, we hit the fest’s launch party on Saturday, April 28th, to chat with the fest’s president, Jeff Rector. Read on.
Held on the rooftop terrace of the Hollywood Tower in Hollywood, California, the black tie event titled ‘A Night Under the Stars’ featured a hosted bar, hors d’oeuvres and a red carpet with actress Jessica Cameron (Silent Night, Deadly Night) among others in attendance. Said the tuxedo-clad Rector, “We are very excited. This is the first that I am president of the festival, although this is our fourth year, and I’m ramping it up this year to make it more exciting than ever. Our night of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror is going to be even bigger this year.”
Though not part of the selection committee, “I am watching some of the films coming in, particular the science fiction and horror stuff, which is my genre,” Rector told us, who in addition to his participation with the Burbank International Fest is also the official spokesman for The Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films. “Some great stuff is coming in.”
Querying Rector on his thoughts as they pertain to the future of horror, “I’m glad the ‘torture porn’ phase is over,” he said. “The ‘found footage’ genre seems to have worked for Paranormal Activity, although cinematically I don’t feel that they are great films, but they do strike a nerve and certainly make great box office. For me, I grew up on the old Universal monster movies, and I like smart horror and the scare that isn’t there, instead of seeing someone’s guts get ripped out. It’s in the writing, it’s not in the gore.”
As for the festival’s planned opening night film, “It’s called Cinemability, and it showcases disability portrayals in television and film from the silent era to today. It’s a fantastic film about diversity and the importance of inclusion”, said Rector, who previously directed the film Fatal Kiss. “Cinemability stars Ben Affleck, Jamie Fox, William H. Macy, Gary Sinise, Kyle MacLachlan, Beau Bridges and Marlee Matlin among others. Our opening night is an ‘Evening of Diversity,’ and it also celebrates women in film.”
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