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Gary Burns

Gary Burnsb. 1960, Calgary, Alberta


Gary Burns graduated from Concordia’s film program in 1992 and has quickly become Alberta’s rising star in independent filmmaking. Burns cleverly combines a wry sense of humour with an observational style.

The Suburbanators (1995), his ultra–low-budget first feature, is an artful, uneventful study of twenty-something suburban male boredom. It was a critical and festival success in 1995, and Toronto film critics placed The Suburbanators in the top 10 Canadian films of 1996 as well as including Burns on top 10 lists of both directors and screenwriters in Canada. Mondo Canuck (Prentice-Hall, 1996) put The Suburbanators on its list of English Canada's Coolest Movies, calling Burn's debut feature "the most promising first feature by a Canadian director to come along in years." It was also invited to the 1996 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.

Kitchen Party (1998) premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, and following its success there, was invited to the 27th New Directors/New Films held at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, where the New York Times called it "the funniest, nastiest comedy of manners to come down the pike in months." At the Turin Festival in Italy, it won the coveted FIPRESCI prize and was also named best feature at the Atlanta Film Festival.

Burns' third feature, waydowntown (2000), was described by the National Post as “a deadpan, almost pitch-perfect comedy,” and by The Village Voice as “a palliative pharmaceutical rush!” It won best Canadian feature at the 2000 Toronto International Film Festival, best Canadian feature at the Atlantic Film Festival, most popular Canadian film at the Vancouver International Film Festival and achieved a wide U.S. and Canadian theatrical release.

Burns is currently working on his next feature A Problem with Fear, slated for release in the summer of 2003, and is also developing a television series based on waydowntown for CBC.

Film and video work includes

Happy Valley, 1992 (director)
Beerland, 1993 (director)
Turtle Heads, 1993 (director)
The Suburbanators, 1995 (director; writer; producer)
Kitchen Party, 1997 (director; writer)
Fuck Coke, 1999 (director)
waydowntown, 2000 (director; co-writer with James Martin; producer)
The Great Goose Caper, 2003, in production (director)
My Life as a Movie, 2003 (co-director with Josh Levy; TV pilot)
A Problem With Fear, 2003 (director; co-writer with Donna Brunsdale)
waydowntown, 2003, in development (CBC; TV series based on the film)
Radiant City, 2006 (co-director with Jim Brown) 

Note: Updated to July 19, 2006



Source: Take One's Essential Guide to Canadian Film
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