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Robert Burns

RespectAbility Entertainment Professionals Lab, Summer 2023

Robert Burns smiling headshot wearing a black jacket and a red bow tie

Robert Burns

Robert Burns is a recent MFA graduate from Florida State University’s College of Motion Picture Arts with a concentration in Directing. Quiet and reserved during his adolescence, Robert enrolled in a four-year film production program during his time in high school. Here, he forged a deep love for filmmaking and using the medium to convey personal stories based on his life growing up with autism. He aims to tell stories about people grappling with loss, isolation, and neurological conditions who work through these challenges to achieve their ambitions and connect with others on a deeper level. He garners inspiration from directors and films who cover similar themes and tones, such as Charlie Kaufman (“Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”), Barry Jenkins (“Moonlight”), and Krzysztof Kieslowski (the “Three Colors” trilogy).

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After an extensive search and interview process, 20 individuals were invited to participate in the Los Angeles Cohort of RespectAbility’s 2023 Entertainment Lab taking place May 1 – June 9, 2023. This 6-week Lab aims to develop and elevate the talent pipeline of disabled entertainment professional working behind-the-scenes in television, film, and streaming, while connecting them with industry professionals and creatives. Participants include people with physical, cognitive, sensory, mental health, and other disabilities ranging in age the 20’s through the 50’s. The Lab is a recipient of The Roddenberry Foundation Impact Award.

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