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Method Fest film festival coming to AMC Burbank

December 14, 2002

Laura Sturza

While many actors aim to keep a low profile in the city, the ones

who come to Burbank for the Method Fest Independent Film Festival

won't be hiding.

"We'll have star actors, directors, producers," festival executive

director Don Franken said. "[Audiences will] get to hear these

people's take on the films."

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The City Council approved funding for the event at its Tuesday

meeting. The city's Redevelopment Agency will kick in $25,000 of the

total $150,000 budget for the event, set for April 11 to 18 at the

AMC Media Center 8 Theatre.

"This is an established festival that has a demonstrated track

record," Community Deve- lopment Director Sue Georgino said of the

event that made its home in Pasadena for four years before organizers

asked Burbank to be its new host.

Named for Constantine Stanislavski's Method Acting -- a style that

aims to bring realism to the craft -- the festival is unique in its

focus on the contributions of actors to films. Film screenings,

acting and filmmaking panels, parties and special events are

scheduled for the weeklong event.

City officials and festival organizers see the potential for the

event bringing attention to the city, and for Burbank to be a venue

that places Method Fest closer to the center of media production.

"There's nothing I would like more than to see a good, identified

film festival be a part of the city of Burbank," Mayor David Laurell

said.

For each of its four years, the event has doubled in size, with

12,000 people attending last year. Organizers aim to place Method

Fest among the top 10 independent film festivals in the United

States.

"With so many great companies in Burbank that we hope to involve

in the event, we're confident this will really fuel the growth of the

festival," Franken said.

Past Method Fests have featured actors including James Earl Jones,

Faye Dunaway, Tippy Hedren and Jennifer Tilly. Films have included

"To End All Wars" with Kiefer Sutherland and "The Visit" with Billy

Dee Williams and Hill Harper.

The city sponsored the Children's International Film Festival in

2000 and 2001. It was canceled this year, and was described by

Councilman Dave Golonski as teetering "on being a waste of money."

However, that event was a new enterprise, without the prominence

already achieved by Method Fest, Georgino said.

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