Trending News

Powerhouse Producer: Bracken Burns’s Quest for Gender Equity in the Film Industry

From the remote stretches of Northern Alberta, Canada, to the high-stakes world of international film, Bracken Burns has emerged as a powerhouse producer, advocating relentlessly for gender equity in the industry. Her narrative, steeped in overcoming obstacles, determination, and an unyielding passion for storytelling, brings an unprecedented dynamism to the cinematic landscape. 

Burns, who hails from a tiny town with abundant love but a shortage of opportunity, realized early on that the arts were her calling. She swapped the study of Physics at the University of Alberta for a performing arts program at Grant MacEwan University. In a twist that felt nothing short of destiny, Burns was accepted into The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland for her Master’s degree on the same day she auditioned. The universe, it seemed, had a distinct plan for her. Despite her academic detour, Burns’s love for science did not fade.

She began her career in the theater, working on UK No.1 Tours and European productions before her journey led her back to Canada. Her roles in Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs 3 and CBC’s Frankie Drake kept her anchored, prompting her to pivot toward Film and TV. Burns’s acting prowess extends beyond Canada. She is lauded for her role as Flossey in the series PEOPLE WATCHING, which won a Canadian Screen Award. Meanwhile, her standout performance as Elle Woods in Legally Blonde earned her a nomination for the Betty Award for Outstanding Performance in Comedy or Musical in Western Canada.

Burns’s diverse body of work testifies to her versatility, but her producer role in Viggo Mortensen’s directorial debut, Falling, truly underscores her industry stature. The film graced the stages of Sundance 2020, Cannes 2020, and other prestigious film festivals, bagging several awards. Such recognition underscores Burns’s remarkable journey from a remote rural community to sharing tables with top industry professionals.

However, rising through the ranks hasn’t come without challenges: the film industry, still heavily male-dominated, often tests Burns’s resolve. Whether advocating for an intimacy coordinator or ensuring equal pay for female crew members, she’s found herself on the frontline of gender equity. Yet, even as she battles the persistent specter of imposter syndrome, she finds strength in the quality of her work and the opportunities she creates for a diverse, multi-gender team.

A particularly poignant piece of advice from Viggo Mortensen—”Stick around”—has become a guiding principle for Burns. Her commitment to longevity in the industry reinforces the resilience and determination that define her journey. Burns has no plans to slow down or step back—she is here to stay.

Now, she channels her energy into a new documentary, Wilds of Canada. This film explores the compelling narrative of her grandmother’s experience teaching at a residential school. It’s a profound reflection on love, division, and the desire to listen and understand, even from the “wrong” side of the table. With the help of mentor Daniel Beckerman, Burns is committed to touching hearts and minds through this challenging yet crucial story.

As she reflects on her career, Burns is aware of her unique position in the industry. Rising from a small town to share screen space with luminaries like Laura Linney and Viggo Mortensen is no small feat. As she evolves, so does the narrative of women in film, paving the way for future generations to dream bigger and fight harder. You can follow Burns on Instagram as she continues to challenge, inspire, and reshape the world of cinema.

Share via:
No Comments

Leave a Comment