Legendary Hollywood writer, director and producer David Zucker will serve as Honorary chair of the eighth Beloit International Film Festival when the curtain goes up, Feb. 14. One of Hollywood’s most successful filmmakers his worldwide box office hits include Airplane!, Ruthless People, Phone Booth, A Walk In the Clouds, and the record-breaking Naked Gun and Zucker will attend BIFF screenings and events and will introduce several of his films on Saturday and Sunday. “Every one of his 15 studio films has been profitable setting an unparalleled track record in a highly competitive industry, “ noted BIFF President Ron Nief. “And this year he attains another milestone as he joins the select list of BIFF honorary chairs.”
Zucker classics screened during BIFF
Executive Director Roddie Beaudoin is currently in conversations with Zucker regarding the films that will be presented at BIFF. “We hope to show at least two Zucker classics over the weekend and have him here to introduce them and answer questions. He has also agreed to meet with filmmakers, donors and sponsors during his visit.”
Milwaukee Wisconsin Native
Starting out after college with a borrowed video tape deck and camera, the Wisconsin native recruited his brother Jerry, and friends to join him in creating the Kentucky Fried Theater, in Madison. They moved the show to Los Angeles in 1972 and parlayed theirs success into an iconic independent feature, Kentucky Fried Movie.
The Zucker team conceived the idea that would create a whole new film genre with Airplane!. The film broke all conventions, featuring dramatic actors like Robert Stack and Leslie Nielsen performing hair-brained dialogue with straight-laced sincerity. The spoof became the surprise hit of 1980 and their streak of successful movies continued with the secret agent spoof Top Secret! starring Val Kilmer, and the biting farce Ruthless People, with Bette Midler and Danny DeVito. In 1988, Zucker went out on his own to direct The Naked Gun followed by Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear and Naked Gun 33 1/3. His successes have continued with A Walk in The Clouds, BASEketbal and the revitalized Scary Movie comedy series. Currently, he is writing and producing ScaryMovie 5, to be released in 2013.
Previous honorary chairs have included Robert Lee Morris, internationally renowned designer (2008); Steven McEveety executive producer of the Academy Award winning “Braveheart,” and producer of “The Passion of the Christ” (2009); Gregory Lamberson, internationally celebrated creator of horror films (2010); independent film makers CK Lichtenstein and Jack Bennett (2011) and last year, the youngest chair, actor Bobby Coleman whose performances and participation in the festival won over the crowds two years in a row.
BIFF will launch the 2013 season on Valentines Day, Thursday Feb. 14, and continue through Sunday Feb. 17. The BIFF-Year-Round program will continue to present popular films from past BIFF showings at local venues in coming weeks.
The Beloit International Film Festival is made possible by The Hendricks Group and presented in association with Beloit College with a generous grant from Visit Beloit.