American Express announced today that acclaimed film director Edward Burns (The Brothers McMullen, She's the One, Nice Guy Johnny, Newlyweds) will direct a short film concept that was selected as the winner of the 2011 My Movie Pitch contest, that will debut at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival. Burns will work to script, cast, direct and produce the film, a romantic comedy idea submitted by Susan Brennan of Brooklyn, New York.

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Burns' selection of Brennan's idea marks the capstone of the second year of My Movie Pitch, a competition that seeks to bring one inspirational storyteller's unique movie idea to life as an independent short film. New this year, Burns, in partnership with American Express, will bring film lovers inside the indie filmmaking process, providing fans with a rare opportunity to collaborate on the creative process and impact creative decisions on the project. Fans' ideas, comments and contributions will help bring the film to life throughout production. More information will be announced in the coming months by following Edward Burns on Twitter or Facebook, or by visiting

"I am thrilled to be collaborating with American Express and Tribeca Films on their innovative ‘My Movie Pitch' competition," said Edward Burns. "As an independent filmmaker, one of my greatest pleasures is working with emerging talent to help them experience the thrill of bringing an idea to life through the magic of filmmaking. It's an honor to help bring aspiring artists closer to the filmmaking process and to enable story telling for all film fans."

Brennan's idea tells the story of a couple who have to cut back on their expensive habit of dining out. To satisfy their sophisticated palates, the husband encourages his wife to go out on blind dates and return with leftovers. Her appetite is only partially quenched until she falls for one of the bachelors. Brennan's winning 60-second pitch can be found at

This year's My Movie Pitch contest began in April with hundreds of movie lovers and aspiring filmmakers across the country sharing their 60-second pitch with American Express and a panel of Tribeca Film directors. After fan voting selected the top 10 finalists, an esteemed panel -- including Burns, Deborah Chow (The High Cost of Living), Philip Gelatt (The Bleeding House), Massy Tadjedin (Last Night), and David M. Rosenthal (Janie Jones) -- ultimately chose Brennan's "Doggy Bags" as the Grand Prize Winner.

"Winning the My Movie Pitch contest is remarkable for me," said Brennan. "I am beyond thrilled that Edward Burns will be creating this story. As a screenwriter myself, I have always been inspired by his true characters and his panoramic eye for New York City. A huge thank you to American Express for offering this opportunity to writers for a second year -- this is one of those screenwriting dreams come true!"
As the Grand Prize winner of My Movie Pitch, Brennan will recieve VIP access to see her film debut at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival. The top 10 finalists all received their choice of either an HD camera and home editing suite or the ultimate home theater set-up to aide in their future film-making endeavors. Additionally, the top 100 pitches each received a $50 American Express Gift Card.

"At American Express, we truly believe that everybody has a film idea, a story made for the movies," said Sarika Sangwan, Senior Manager, Global Sponsorship & Access Marketing, American Express. "We are excited to work with an esteemed writer and director like Ed this year to create yet another film for our Cardmembers and the independent film community to enjoy."

The My Movie Pitch competition is part of a larger American Express partnership with Tribeca Enterprises established in 2002, which proudly supports and celebrates the power of independent filmmaking. Through this partnership, American Express has leveraged emerging talent in the film industry and helps to distribute films, such as Burns' upcoming release of Newlyweds.

To learn more about the My Movie Pitch contest -- including details on director Edward Burns; Susan Brennan's winning pitch and the videos submitted by the other finalists; our 2010 winner, Mr. Stache; and American Express' continuing support of independent cinema and Tribeca Film, visit

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