2013 Keynote Speaker
The Reynolda Film Festival proudly introduces our 2013 Keynote Speaker Ed Burns
Lauded by critics and audiences alike, Burns gained international recognition for his first feature THE BROTHERS MCMULLEN, which premiered in competition at the 1995 Sundance Film Festival, winning the Grand Jury prize. The film, which Burns wrote, directed and starred in, was shot on a budget of only $25,000 and went on to gross over $10 million at the domestic box office, making it the most profitable film of 1995. The film also won “Best First Feature” at the 1996 Independent Spirit Awards.
Burns continues to write, direct, star in and produce his films, including the Paramount Classics relationship comedy SIDEWALKS OF NEW YORK, PURPLE VIOLETS, and most recently, NICE GUY JOHNNY. In a groundbreaking deal, Purple Violets was the first feature film to premiere exclusively on iTunes. Burns built on this platform and successfully released Nice Guy Johnny via digital distribution in 2010.
His 10th feature film as a writer, director and actor is the romantic drama NEWLYWEDS, which will premiere at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival. Burns has been involved with TFF since the festival’s inception in 2002. This will be his 6th film featured at TFF and will close the festival.
As an actor, Burns starred opposite Tom Hanks and Matt Damon in Steven Spielberg’s critically acclaimed World War II epic SAVING PRIVATE RYAN. He also starred in the thriller 15 MINUTES opposite Robert De Niro, CONFIDENCE opposite Dustin Hoffman, and the 20th Century Fox romantic comedy hit 27 DRESSES opposite Katherine Heigl. His recent work includes the 2012 feature films MAN ON A LEDGE opposite Sam Worthington and Elizabeth Banks as well as Jennifer Westfeldt’s FRIENDS WITH KIDS. Additionally, he will star in ‘40’, Doug Ellin’s much buzzed about new HBO series.
Ed Burns was born in Woodside, Queens and raised on Long Island. While at Hunter College in New York City, Burns switched his focus from English to filmmaking before quickly moving on to make The Brothers McMullen, which won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. He lives in New York City with his wife and two children.
The speech will be held in Brendle Recital Hall on Tuesday, April 2, at 7:00 pm.
Admission is free for all students with a valid student ID, Wake Forest faculty and staff. The admission is $5 for the general public. Tickets are available for purchase the day of the event beginning at 5:00 pm. The doors will open at 6:00 pm.