Getting Oliver here is a real coup, no matter how I managed to do it.

— Bob (to Kim)

Van Hansis’s Occupant | A ‘highlight’ of Gotham Screen International Film Festival

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
October 13

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.

18 Responses to “Van Hansis’s Occupant | A ‘highlight’ of Gotham Screen International Film Festival”

  1. Lewis says:

    Correction to previous blog: The website for EastSiders is: http://www.eastsiderstheseries.com

  2. Lewis says:

    To all fans of Van Hansis: Watch him on the new online soap EastSiders. Two episodes already appear and they need backing to create an entire season and then some. Contribute anything you can to make this happen. Deadline is Feb. 9, 2013. Go to EastSiders web site (www.eastsiders.com).

  3. Lewis says:

    OCCUPANT is now back on Amazon and it is the same one that was considered to be a “bootleg”. The supposed legitimate version is only available on online viewing at Amazon. Go figure. L

  4. mmc says:

    I read that too so it was a bootlegged copy.I’ll wait for the genuine.Someone said it might cut into Vans profits, but I was told usally the actors don’t make profits on the sales.But who knows , maybe he had a great contract.it seems strange that amazon wouldn’t check out what they sell.I wish i had it….promised them for Christmas ….now I’ll have to buy something else!happy Holidays to you Lovelure and you too Lewis.Had some great conversations with both of you!

  5. Lewis says:

    NOTICE TO ALL: The DVD of OCCUPANT is now no longer available from Amazon. Either it sold out from a deserving demand or it was, in fact, a “pirated copy” that has now met its demise. Either way, it’s unfortunate for those who still might have preferred a DVD copy. (I hope that it was the former.) L

    • lovelure says:

      I was going to reply, “me too!” But I just did a quick search, and the Occupant Movie Facebook site has a new official post as of yesterday which reads, “The DVD on Amazon was a bootleg. But you can get a digital download from Amazon!! As soon as the DVD is ready for sale, we will let you know. OCCUPANT is available for rent at Blockbuster plus many on-demand and digital downloads – check http://www.occupantmovie.com for information.”

      So, the good news is that they are saying “AS SOON AS the DVD is ready for sale”, so someday….

      Incidentally, I also did a Google cache search on the Amazon DVD. There is one listing that shows up, and it definitely looks suspicious. Rather than a professional “pack shot” it displays a photo of a sealed DVD, taken on what’s likely a point-and-shoot camera (as suggested by the date stamp, which any self-respecting professional photographer would have turned off!). . The ASIN (Amazon ID number) for this listing is B006GGNCV6.

  6. mmc says:

    Thanks for the info Lewis and L L ! I read the worry about bootlegging on Vans Fb page posted by some fans.i guess I’d better get my copies.and Lewis if you come back here are you on FB.? I remember all the great chats we had on michael fairmans blog.

    • Lewis says:

      Hi mmc, I am not on FB and don’t intend to be for a variety of reasons. The DVD I purchased was very clear and arrived very quickly. If nothing else, it is the “only game in town” for the time being. Warner Bros. had its chance to release a DVD but evidently chose not to. I originally saw OCCUPANT on VOD which is not always the most desirable choice. Cheers, L

      • lovelure says:

        I’m not sure if “Warner Bros had its chance” is accurate. According to the film’s producers, Warner signed on as their “VOD distributor,” but I don’t know that that necessarily means they had the DVD rights as well.

        • Lewis says:

          I was not criticizing WB (who I greatly admire) but was only speculating. It seems highly unlikely that WB, given its premier size within the industry and certainly compared to the current DVD distributor, would not have had first dibs. Why take only the VOD option, unless WB was taking little financial risk by going in this direction when dealing with a relative unknown despite VH’s following. There was always the HBO & Cinemax option available to WB later on, though the belated release of OCCUPANT along with other factors did not bode well for a normal distribution pattern. Indeed, it is unusual for any media company to divide distribution rights in this fashion. However, given the fact that the film was never released in theatres but went to VOD first (as opposed to DVD) seems unusual to begin with. In any event, it’s not worth discussing. To quote Dr. Oliver, “It is what it is.”

  7. Lewis says:

    HEAR YE, HEAR YE! Van Hansis’s OCCUPANT is now available via Amazon on DVD. I bought it this week and already got it. It comes from a third party and is $19.95 plus 2.98 S&H. It has interview with Van, the director and the writer. Cheers. Lewis

    • lovelure says:

      Excellent, Lewis! Thanks for the heads up! Will do a separate post tomorrow so it doesn’t get buried under the IHMTD posts today. Do I hear the sound of Christmas presents being bought???

    • lovelure says:

      Hey Lewis, if you check back in here, just curious if you can describe the cover or anything else about the DVD?. I just took a look at Van’s Facebook and there are a bunch of people who suspect that it’s a pirated edition. Thanks.

      • Lewis says:

        It doesn’t appear to be a pirated edition since there are interviews with three major individuals with chapter selection as well. Full artwork on cover, back, and on disc. Van is shown looking through the open front door of unit 1003. Disc was put out by Viva film co. which also advertised other items prior to OCCUPANT which a pirated version would not have had (under normal circumstances). In any case, it was the only one available.

        • lovelure says:

          Thanks for the info! The photo sounds like the one Van is using as his Facebook profile pic, which seemed to be the image they were moving to for their marketing (away from the blue-ish one of a teeny Van leaning out a window). Without passing judgment on this video, full artwork and extra features would probably preclude it from being bootlegged, but it could certainly still be pirated if somehow someone was able to copy a legit original. It would seem pretty stupid to be selling pirated copies on Amazon, though. The potential riches would seem to be trumped by the cost of getting caught!

          • Lewis says:

            Since there was nothing from Warner Bros., I can’t imagine where a bootleg copy could come from. There is a barcode and much additional standard info on the back cover as well. WB held the rights for watching online but indicated nothing beyond.

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