For more detail on the Gotham Screen International Film Festival (GSIFF), I’m just going to reproduce their complete press release from last week, which is pretty comprehensive:
Now in its Fifth Year
GOTHAM SCREEN International Film Festival
OPENS at New Venue at NY’s QUAD Cinema
NEW YORK, NY–(September 23, 2011) – This year’s Annual GOTHAM SCREEN International Film Festival (GSIFF) brings another slate of under-the-radar gems to a new home—NY’s QUAD Cinema.
GSIFF Directors, Michael Gunther and Alex Blakeney, have cherry picked from A-List film festivals–Cannes, Toronto, Locarno, Venice—new talent and films that are awaiting distribution. The eclectic slate gives local New York audiences and industry professionals an insider’s look into the international scene, while also working hard to discover new independent American films. The majority of the films are US or World Premieres.
This year’s festival showcases more than 10 cutting-edge features, documentaries
and three programs of short films from independent, first- or second-time directors
as well as international releases making their East Coast or US debut.
This year’s program is highlighted by the World Premiere of Henry Miller’s Occupant; the World Premiere of Dana Packard’ss, 40 West, starring Wayne Newton; and the East Coast premiere of Indian film Shuttlecock Boys directed by Hemant Gaba.
GSIFF was launched in 2007 by a group of New York-based producers and production companies, to find up-and-coming screenwriting talent and great new stories. GSIFF decided to expand and add a film festival in 2008. The screenwriting contest was a great success, and several scripts were optioned and into development and production. The 2011 Screenplay Contest comes again with a $2,500 cash prize for the winning screenplay. In addition, excerpts from a finalist screenplay contest entry will be performed live by professional actors at a staged reading during the Festival. There is also a $ 1,000 prize for the Best Short Film.
Last year’s festival drew over 2000 filmgoers and dozens of filmmakers to lower Manhattan platforming films that were subsequently picked up for domestic and International distribution (SHE WOLF RISING; HOW TO BE). Last year GSIFF screened such International films as Jean-Luc Godard’s SOCIALISME, Mitko Panov’s THE WAR IS OVER, and last year’s festival winner, Rajko Grlic’s JUST BETWEEN US.
The Belgian film, LOFT, which had its US premiere at the 2009 Gotham Screen festival, is now being remade for the US market with James Marsden, Wentworth Miller, Karl Urban, Rhona Mitra and Rachael Taylor.
Gotham Screen is an intimate festival with its finger on the pulse of a new generation of cineastes. Among visiting filmmakers to the City, the festival has built a reputation as warm and welcoming with a festival staff who take a hands-on approach in building community and fostering future alliances.
With more independent films competing for screens in New York, with distribution companies putting money only into sure bets and with City festivals devoting programs to name directors or niche audiences, there are many reasons why an exceptional film might not find a venue in Manhattan. Thanks to programmers Michael Gunther and Alex Blakeney these films won’t slip through the cracks.
As Ben Wolf, DP of SHE WOLF RISING, puts it “I wish there were more festivals like Gotham Screen that have the guts to put our independent movie next to a Godard movie. There is no better showcase for talented undiscovered filmmakers than Gotham Screen.”
Occupant, starring Van Hansis, Thorsten Kaye, and Cody Horn will be the opening night screening at GSIFF, October 13th. Advance tickets will be available on the GSIFF website. The feature-length thriller will be available for DVD purchase or download/viewing on iTunes, Netflix, and VOD on October 18th.