Jim Burnstein

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Jim Burnstein

Director of Screenwriting Program

Office Location(s): 6377 North Quad
Office Hours: Fall 2015: Wednesdays, 5:00 - 7:00 p.m.
Phone: 734.615.0443

  • About

    Jim Burnstein managed to beat the odds and make it as a successful Hollywood screenwriter without moving from his home in Plymouth, Michigan. Mr. Burnstein’s screen credits include Renaissance Man, the 1994 comedy directed by Penny Marshall and starring Danny DeVito; D3: The Mighty Ducks (1996-1997); and Love and Honor, the 2013 drama starring Liam Hemsworth, co-written with Garrett Schiff of Los Angeles.

    In 1995, Burnstein returned to his alma mater, the University of Michigan, to build one of America’s top undergraduate screenwriting programs in the Department of Screen Arts & Cultures.  

    Burnstein was appointed by Governor John Engler and reappointed by Governor Jennifer Granholm to serve on the Michigan Film Office Advisory Council from 2003 until 2011. As the Council’s Vice Chair, Burnstein was one of the leading proponents of the Michigan Film Incentive program that was passed in 2008.

    Born in Detroit, Burnstein and his wife Cynthia, a high school English teacher, have called Plymouth home since 1977.  Their children Gabriel, Devin and Jacob are all University of Michigan graduates. Their granddaughter Remy is slated for the class of 2025.

    Recent Courses

    SAC 366: Fiction into Film 

    SAC 410: Screenwriting II

    SAC 423: Practicum for the Screenwriter 

    SAC 427: Screenwriting III 


    (Photo: Jim Burnstein surrounded by his advanced screenwriters at Graduation '09)

  • Education
    • M.A., English Language and Literature, University of Michigan, 1974
    • B.A., English, University of Michigan, 1972
  • Currents Projects
    • Naked Shakespeare, original screenplay co-written with Garrett Schiff, rewritten in 2012 for Voltage, currently in pre-production.
    • Take Five, original screenplay co-written with Garrett Schiff, Robert Odgen Barnum attached to produce.
  • Works-In-Progress
    • Palio, original animated screenplay, currently written for Original Force
  • Selected Publications:
  • Creative Works