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Burbank International Film Festival Hosts Online Screenings and Awards Show

Courtesy photo / BIFF

Yvette Nicole Brown will receive the “Garry Marshall Spirit Award” and Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry will receive a special tribute

The Burbank International Film Festival (BIFF) announced this week that they will be able to watch all of the semi-finalist films for the 2020 film festival as a virtual event. Over 250 global films will be screened during the four-day festival taking place Sept. 10-13.

“BIFF has partnered with media tech company Festivee to create an outstanding digital showcase for this year’s filmmakers and their work. Utilizing Festivee’s technologically advanced programming and design team, along with their broadband streaming capabilities, this year’s online virtual film festival and awards show will be a very impressive event,” said Jeff Rector, BIFF’s president and festival director.

Now celebrating its 12th year in “The Media Capital of the World,” the Burbank International Film Festival will launch on Thursday, Sept. 10, and continue through Sunday, Sept. 13, when the winners will be announced at the grand closing night awards show. Rector, his Board of Directors and media team worked to present the best possible viewing experience for audiences and, said Rector, “to create a Festival and Awards Show second to none.”

BIFF’s annual Awards Show traditionally takes place at the Burbank Airport Marriott Convention Center but they were forced to rethink the presentation when confronted with the realities that coronavirus presented. Newly appointed Board Member Kurt Patino suggested producing a virtual award show at L.A. Castle Studios, which he enlisted as a sponsor this year.

“L.A. Castle Studios could not have been more accommodating and supportive of our festival, and we‘re grateful to be partnering with one of the premier production studios in Burbank and Hollywood. It allowed the festival to try something new and exciting,” said Patino. “The L.A. Castle Studios team helped craft a first-rate production experience that brings all the excitement and fanfare of a live event straight into filmmakers’ and audiences’ living rooms.”

“Not only were we able to use a state-of-the-art production facility for the show itself, but we will be editing in the self-taped acceptance speeches from the winning filmmakers from around the world, as part of the live-streaming event on Sept. 13. It’s groundbreaking and very exciting,” said Rector.

During the awards show, BIFF will present the 2020 Garry Marshall Spirit Award to actress, writer and comedian Yvette Nicole Brown. Presenting the award is “Happy Days” icon Marion Ross, last year’s recipient. Also a special tribute posthumously celebrating the 100th birthday of legendary “Star Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry will be made by the festival together with Gene’s son, Rod Roddenberry, executive producer of “Star Trek: Picard” and “Star Trek: Discovery,” among others.

Honored to receive this year’s award, Brown said, “Garry embodied everything that is loving and kind and wonderful. If I can in any way live up to all the wonderful things Mr. Marshall did in his life, I will have done good work indeed.”

Other participating celebrities include Martin Kove (“Cobra Kai”), Nigel Gibbs (“Better Call Saul”), Kelly Stables (“Superstore”), and writer-director Shane Black (“Iron Man 3,” “The Predator”).

Festival tickets and schedule are now available at

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