New York, February 22, 2001- Edward Burns begins principal photography on March 21, 2001 in New York City on “Ash Wednesday,” his fifth feature as writer, director, producer and star. Edward Burns and Margot Bridger are producing the film and Jonathan Sehring and Caroline Kaplan of IFC Productions are serving as executive producers.
Set in 1983 New York, “Ash Wednesday” is a drama about two brothers trying to escape their past. After faking the death of his younger brother to save him from a hitman, Francis Sullivan (Burns) is desperately trying to live a straight life. But when his brother returns from hiding to reunite with his wife, Francis is forced back into the dangerous worlds of Irish and Italian gangsters in order to help his brother escape a neighborhood intent on killing them both. Rosario Dawson and Oliver Platt are scheduled to star alongside Burns.
“I’m thrilled to be working with IFC,” says Burns, “because they support independent filmmakers and they back up their commitment to independence by actually giving the filmmaker creative control.”
“Edward Burns is gifted storyteller, filmmaker and actor,” says IFC Entertainment President Jonathan Sehring. “Like so many others, we have been following his career since the beginning and we are excited to add him to our family of filmmakers.”
Edward Burns‘ first feature, “The Brothers McMullen,” won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival and Best First Feature at the 1996 Independent Spirit Awards. The film, shot on a budget of only $25,000, went on to gross over $10 million at the domestic box office, making it the most profitable film of 1995. Burns’ fourth feature as writer, director, producer, and star, “Sidewalks of New York” will be distributed by Paramount Classics in May 2001. A comedic look at relationships and romance through the eyes of six New Yorkers, “Sidewalks” co-stars Burns, Heather Graham, Brittany Murphy, Stanley Tucci, David Krumholtz, Rosario Dawson and Dennis Farina.
As an actor, Burns next stars in New Line’s “Fifteen Minutes” with Robert De Niro opening March 9, 2001. He was last seen opposite Tom Hanks in Steven Spielberg’s “Saving Private Ryan.” The critically acclaimed World War II epic marked the first film in which Burns acted
in a film he did not write and direct himself.
For television, Edward Burns (with brother Brian) recently signed a deal with ATG to write and produce. Their first project has Burns as Creator and Executive Producer of a half-hour comedy titled “The Fighting Fitzgeralds” for NBC with Golden Globe winner Brian Dennehy starring. “The Fighting Fitzgeralds” premieres Tuesday, March 6, 2001 at 8:00 p.m.
“Ash Wednesday” is the latest in a rich tradition of original features for IFC Productions, led by Jonathan Sehring (President, IFC Entertainment) and Caroline Kaplan (Vice President, Film & Program Development, IFC Productions). The company has produced or co-produced such acclaimed films as: Richard Linklater’s “Waking Life,” Karyn Kusama’s “Girlfight,” Kimberly Peirce’s “Boys Don’t Cry,” Errol Morris’ “Mr. Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter, Jr.,” Maggie Greenwald’s “Songcatcher,” Jim McKay’s “Our Song,” Brad Anderson’s “Happy Accidents,” Tom Gilroy’s “Spring Forward,” John Sayles’ “Men With Guns” and Steven Soderbergh’s “Gray’s Anatomy.” Upcoming projects include: Michael Almereyda’s “Happy Here and Now,” Bart Freundlich’s “World Traveler” and Mira Nair’s “Monsoon Wedding.” IFC Productions is also co-producing the digital initiative InDigEnt, with Campbell Scott’s “Final,” Ethan Hawke’s “Chelsea Walls,” Bruce Wagner’s “Women in Film,” Richard Linklater’s “Tape” and Rodrigo Garcia’s “Ten Tiny Love Stories” already completed and slated for distribution through Lions Gate Entertainment.
Independent Film Channel (IFC) is the first channel dedicated to independent film, presented 24 hours a day, uncut and commercial-free, and managed and operated by Bravo Networks. Reaching more than 35 million homes on a full-time basis, IFC is the most widely distributed channel dedicated to independent film on television.
Reid Rosefelt/Sara Finmann
Magic Lantern, Inc.