Ed Burns – Writer, Director, Actor
When a feature film can be shot on a micro-budget of $9,000 with no fixed sets, in live environments and on a small HD camera, watch out. Burns’ Newlyweds is a case in point. Shot in the neighborhood of Tribeca, it was the Closing Night film at the 2011 TFF and was later acquired and released by distribution label Tribeca Film. Newlyweds shows how disruptive innovation for independent filmmakers has arrived and is challenging the economics of the more traditional business model.
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’ 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. 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. Burns can be seen in the upcoming feature film MAN ON A LEDGE opposite Sam Worthington and Elizabeth Banks, as well as in 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.