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Sept. 8th, 2010

Press contact:  Therese Lee,
GRACE BEDELL to screen at the Burbank International Film Festival on September 15, 2010.

LOS ANGELES, CA –   Director, Eric Burdett, will be screening his new short film, GRACE BEDELL, at the Burbank International Film Festival on September 15, 2010.  

It is the heartfelt true story of eleven-year-old Grace Bedell who wanted an end to slavery and became an ardent Lincoln supporter. She was concerned his shallow, long face might hinder his chance at becoming the next president. So she took pen in hand and advised her idol to change his appearance by growing whiskers. Lincoln took the young girl’s advice, won the election, and thanked her in person on his way to Washington.

The film introduces ten-year-old Lana Esslinger in the title role of Grace Bedell, and stars Pasha Lychnikoff (DEADWOOD), Lisa Lackey(HEROES) and introducing Caleb Repchuk.  

Writer and executive producer, Mark Esslinger, originated the idea for the movie and appears as Grace’s father.  Says Esslinger, “When I realized that very few people knew about this amazing little girl’s story, I wrote the screenplay as both an entertaining and educational film.”

The director, Eric Burdett, attended the prestigious School of Cinema-Television at the University of Southern California. Variety called his last film, ELVIS IN EAST PEORIA, “Entertaining. Chock-full of colorful characters and human comedy.”  In addition to directing, Mr. Burdett has spent time writing screenplays and working in the industry with such luminaries as Michael Eisner, Lawrence Gordon and Joel Silver. “GRACE BEDELL,” states Burdett, “is the best work I’ve ever done.”

GRACE BEDELL has been very well received at festivals around the country.  Lana Esslinger, the young lead, won Best Youth Performance at the Buffalo/Niagara International Film Festival in April 2010.  The film also won Best Original Short Film at the Columbia Gorge International Film Festival in August 2010.

For more on the film go to 

For more information on Caleb Repchuk go to:

For more on the Burbank International Film Festival go to

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