The Script Lab Podcast: Andrew Heckler, Writer/Director of Burden, Audience Award-Winner at Sundance

By Shanee Edwards · February 17, 2020


On today’s episode, I have a great chat with Andrew Heckler, writer/director of Burden. This powerful independent film won the Audience Award at Sundance and stars Garrett Hedlund, Forest Whitaker, Tom Wilkinson and Usher. It’s based on a true story about what happens when a museum celebrating the Ku Klux Klan opens in a small South Carolina town.  The idealistic Reverend Kennedy (played by Forest Whitaker) strives to keep the peace even as he urges the group’s Grand Dragon (played by Tom Wilkinson) to disavow his racist past.

Andrew and I chat about his theater background and his process of writing from emotion, not structure. We also talk about the consequences of shoving political correctness down people’s throats and the challenge of writing characters who aren’t entirely good, or entirely evil, but somewhere in between.

Burden opens in L.A. and New York Feb. 28, then rolls out to other cities across the country.

Listen to the podcast below.

Shanee Edwards graduated from UCLA Film School with an MFA in Screenwriting and is currently the film critic for She recently won the Next MacGyver television writing competition to create a TV show about a female engineer. Her pilot, Ada and the Machine, is currently in development with America Ferrera’s Take Fountain Productions. You can follow her on Twitter: @ShaneeEdwards

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