Banff – Emmy Award-winner René Balcer, co-creator and executive producer of “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” and showrunner for the original “Law & Order” series, will join the Master Class series lineup for the 30th edition of the Banff World Television Festival (BANFF). BANFF takes place at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel in Banff, Canada, June 7-10, 2009.
“We are thrilled to have René Balcer take the stage for the Master Class series,” commented Peter
Vamos, BANFF executive director. “René’s longevity in the television industry and success at leveraging a profitable series into a successful spin-off makes his attendance a valuable addition to this year’s program.”
Writer and producer René Balcer is a native of Montreal, Canada, and was a journalist and documentary filmmaker at Canada’s National Film Board prior to joining “Law & Order“ in its first season in 1990. He later became executive producer and head writer in 1996 and while under his leadership as showrunner, “Law & Order” won the Emmy for Best Drama Series in 1997.
In 2001, Balcer created “Law & Order: Criminal Intent“ with Dick Wolf, where he served as the show’s executive-producer and head-writer. Now in its eighth season, “Criminal Intent” ranks among the top ten television dramas on American Cable TV and is seen in over 150 countries worldwide, and includes locally produced French and Russian franchises. “Law & Order” was renewed for a nineteenth season when Balcer returned to the series as showrunner, writer and executive producer in 2007.
Balcer has written over 180 episodes of “Law & Order” and “Law & Order: Criminal Intent”, and has won numerous awards, including the Writers Guild Award for Outstanding Teleplay, the Peabody Award, the Golden Laurel Award from the Producers Guild of America, four Edgar Awards from the Mystery Writers of America, and lifetime achievement awards from the International Mystery Writers Festival and the Reims International Television Festival.
The Master Class series showcases the television industry’s top creators in intimate interviews that provide the opportunity for the “master” to reveal their unique creative processes and trade secrets to making a hit TV show. The 2009 series includes Kari Lizer, creator and executive producer “The New Adventures of Old Christine”.