A festive and celebratory weekend for the independent film community was sadly interrupted today with news of the death of documentary filmmaker Garrett Scott. An Independent Spirit Awards nominee for “Occupation: Dreamland,” a film he co-directed with Ian Olds, Garrett Scott died an accidental death yesterday (Thursday) in California. He was planning to attend tomorrow’s Independent Spirit Awards in Santa Monica, CA.
“Occupation: Dreamland,” a powerful portrait of a squad of American soldiers deployed in Falluja, in Iraq, is nominated for the Truer Than Fiction Award at the Independent Spirit Awards. The film was also one of 15 documentaries selected for the short list of movies competing for a Best Documentary Feature nomination this year from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
“We here at rumur releasing who worked closely with Garrett are very saddened to hear of his passing,” said Michael Galinsky of rumur releasing, the film’s distributor. “Our thoughts are with his family and with his filmmaking partner Ian Olds as they deal with this difficult situation.”
Scott, a 37 year old native of San Diego, CA, where he is understood to have been visiting his family yesterday, also directed “Cul de Sac: A Suburban War Story,” a film set in the Southern California city. Scott’s directorial debut, about a man who stole an Army tank and drove it through the streets of a local suburb, debuted at the 2002 New York Underground Film Festival and screened at the Toronto International Film Festival the same year. That summer, he was named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces in Independent Film. He was born in Munich in 1968 and studied at the University of Wisconsin.
A spokesperson for Sundance Channel, the TV distributor of the movie that will premiere “Occupation: Dreamland” next month, confirmed the tragic news today, releasing a statement that simply added, “Colleagues, friends and family mourn this tremendous loss.” The network also aired “Cul de Sac” two years ago.
The acclaimed “Occupation: Dreamland” had its world premiere at last year’s International Film Festival Rotterdam and its U.S. premiere at SXSW. The film later won the Working Films award at the 2005 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, among other festival showings. Scott had been working on a documentary about city politics in San Francisco in the 1970s.
[EDITORS NOTE: On a purely personal note, we at indieWIRE express our sincerest regards to the family, friends, and colleagues of Garrett Scott. He was a truly talented independent filmmaker and his death is a great loss to the community.]
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