Actor, Writer, Director, Producer; Author, “Independent Ed: Inside a Career of Big Dreams, Little Movies, and the Twelve Best Days of My Life”
Lauded by critics and audiences alike, Ed Burns gained international recognition for his first feature film 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' second film, the romantic comedy She's The One, starring Jennifer Aniston and Cameron Diaz, reinforced Burns' versatile talent as a writer, director, and actor able to simultaneously and successfully wear multiple hats.
His 11th feature film as a writer, director, and actor is the drama The Fitzgerald Family Christmas, which had its world premiere at the 2012 Toronto Film Festival, and stars Kerry Bishé, Connie Britton, Caitlin FitzGerald, Ed Lauter, and Michael McGlone. Burns continues to write, direct, star in and produce his films, including the Paramount Classics relationship comedy Sidewalks of New York, Purple Violets, Nice Guy Johnny, and Newlyweds. In a groundbreaking deal, Purple Violets was the first feature film to premiere exclusively on iTunes. Burns expanded on this new model of digital distribution to include cable Video on Demand to reach even wider audiences and successfully released two films, Nice Guy Johnny and Newlyweds via these platforms in 2010 and 2011.
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.
Burns most recently starred in three-time Academy Award nominated filmmaker Frank Darabont's event series Mob City as legendary gangster Bugsy Siegel, which will premiere later this year on TNT.
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 aboved-mentioned award at the Sundance Film Festival.
He lives in New York City with his wife and two children.
A Conversation With Ed Burns
And how do good stories get told when the Hollywood studio system is a business about the bottom line? Is it possible to remain authentic and not "sell out?" With his film, Nice Guy Johnny, Burns deliberately resisted the traditional distribution channels where there is little control, and embraced a changing marketplace-one where filmgoers want their content immediate and accessible across a variety of digital platforms.A true indie filmmaker at heart from his early days of breaking into the industry with The Brothers McMullen at Sundance, Ed Burns knows what it takes to follow the dream of being a writer and director.
His latest film, Newlyweds, continues the trend of "anytime, anyplace, anywhere" by being available directly to viewers across a variety of platforms. It also confirms Burns' proclivity for retaining his independent spirit and keeping him at the forefront of low-budget indie filmmaking. Passionate about making personal films with candor and integrity, Burns' perseverance inspires the dreamer in others, no matter what industry or field they pursue. In an intimate and lively conversation format, Ed Burns shares his experiences in the world of filmmaking and how to make use of the current technology to get great stories told.
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