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Independent Film

August 10, 2012
Singer-actress Hilary Duff has sold her Toluca Lake estate for slightly less than its asking price of $6.25 million. The buyers are designer Don Stanzione and Sheri Callan, who owns Callan Advertising, which focuses on the independent film industry. The reinvented Mediterranean mansion, built in 1951, features a central courtyard, high ceilings, an industrial-style kitchen, a gym, a billiards room, multiple offices, art and dance studios, a bar, five bedrooms, six bathrooms and 9,277 square feet of living space.
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." 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.
February 9, 2002
Joyce Rudolph, Weekend GLENDALE -- "Rewrite," the digital romantic comedy feature by independent filmmaker Phil Snyder of Glendale, is scheduled for a limited theater release beginning Friday. HolyWood Media, Inc. is an independent film and television production company founded by Snyder and his wife, Karen. Tickets for the gala premiere on Friday and Feb. 16 and 17 are available online at It is showing at the Pasadena Academy 6 Cinema, 1003 E. Colorado Blvd.
April 17, 2004
For something seemingly few residents had ever heard of two years ago, the Method Fest Independent Film Festival sure seems comfortable, and popular, in its Burbank home. The festival -- which, as its name implies, features breakout work from independent moviemakers -- called it a wrap April 9 on its second season in Burbank, ending the weeklong event with some shiny numbers: 26 features shown, along with 47 shorts; a 20% increase in attendance (a record 15,000 people)
April 19, 2003
Aiming to reduce runaway production CIVIC CENTER -- Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Burbank) addressed the Burbank City Council to update residents and council members about his efforts to keep the motion-picture industry from being lured to other countries. Sherman, who spoke at Tuesday's council meeting, was among legislators who introduced the United States Independent Film and Television Production Incentive Act last year, and again in January. It would provide a tax credit for projects produced in the U.S., with the goal of keeping production in the country to create jobs and boost the economy.
July 14, 2001
Joyce Rudolph Bruce Mayhall to lead Gay Men's Chorus GLENDALE -- Bruce Mayhall, associate professor and director of choral studies at the University of Nevada, Reno, has been named the new artistic director of the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles. He succeeds Jon Bailey, who led the chorus for 14 years. The announcement was made by Colin Saldanha, chairman of the chorus' board of directors. Mayhall's tenure begins Sept. 1 for the organization's 23rd annual season.
January 10, 2004
Molly Shore Former Burbank mayor David Laurell has been named community relations director of the Method Fest independent film festival. Festival Executive Director Don Franken, who picked Laurell for the post Tuesday, said Laurell will work with individuals, civic groups, corporations and small business for the purpose of fund-raising, promoting relationships and establishing partnerships with the festival. "He really will be our face to the community," Franken said.
November 11, 2009
Miramax merges with Burbank studio Miramax is merging its marketing, distribution, operations and administrative support functions with its parent studio in Burbank, and Miramax Films President Daniel Battsek is leaving his post as part of the U.S. film studio?s decision to move in a new direction, a Disney official said. reported Walt Disney Studios Chairman Rich Ross? announcement regarding Battsek?s departure from Disney?s independent film division comes after the film studio cut its number of movies released annually from as many as eight to three a year.
February 18, 2004
Jackson Bell Less than two months before the start of the sixth Method Fest independent film festival, organizers say they have received a record number of entries. Method Fest Executive Director Don Franken said 508 feature and short films were submitted for this year's event -- an increase of about 50% from last year's total of 338. "Our goal is to get as wide a range of entries as possible," Franken said. "Method Fest is about producing new voices and different viewpoints to have the highest quality festival possible."
June 29, 2005
These days, if you're a film snob with good sense, there are two kinds of films: the formulaic, uninspired blockbuster and the cutting-edge independent film. Which is why Doug Liman's "Mr. & Mrs. Smith" is such a pleasure -- it proves you can package a high-concept premise with two A-list megastars, toss in a director who lets character development drive the roller-coaster action with a script that molds words into sophisticated, snappy dialogue. The final product is impressive: a film about something.
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