Zucker named BIFF honorary chair
BELOIT 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 “Scary Movie” franchises.
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,” BIFF President Ron Nief was quoted as saying in a news release. “And this year, he attains another milestone as he joins the select list of BIFF honorary chairs.”
Executive Director Rod 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 also has agreed to meet with filmmakers, donors and sponsors during his visit,” Beaudoin said in the release.
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) and Steven McEveety executive producer of the Academy Award winning “Braveheart.”