BOSTON, Sept. 19 (UPI) -- Independent filmmaker Ed Burns is in Boston this weekend to screen his latest offering, "Nice Guy Johnny."
"Johnny," the tale of a 20-something would-be sportscaster (played by Matt Bush) who learns life lessons from his uncle (played by Burns), has a lot in common with Burns's first stab at filmmaking, "The Brothers McMullen": Both were shot over 12 days on Long Island with a budget of $25,000, the Worcester Telegram & Gazette reported Friday.
"McMullen" went on to win the grand jury prize at the 1995 Sundance Film Festival -- thanks to Burns's strategic delivery of a copy of the film to Robert Redford -- and grossed more than $10 million.
Burns told the Telegram he's staying true to his indie roots, turning down opportunities to cash in on his name and direct others' films.
"I'm one of the lucky guys. I made the little movie that got picked up," Burns said, adding his new flick, which opened this weekend at the Boston Film Festival, is cut from the same cloth.
"It really is a look at your dreams and what does it cost you to hold on to them."
Burns told The Boston Globe he does what he can to replicate for others the break Redford gave him back in 1995, often passing on head shots and film clips to his casting director.
"They go in a special pile. We've actually cast some of those people as a cop or a waiter," he told the Globe.
The 26th Boston Film Festival runs through Thursday.