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Unrest and Introspection -- 6th Annual Gotham Screen Film Festival Unspools at NY's QUAD Cinema October 4-14

September 26, 2012 - NEW YORK, NY

The sixth edition of the GOTHAM SCREEN International Film Festival (GSIFF) reflects global trends on a local scale in this year's weeklong run at NY's QUAD Cinema.

GSIFF Director Michael Gunther and programmer Alex Blakeney have cast the net far and wide to assemble over twenty feature films and documentaries, two thirds of them World or US premieres, for this year's program.

The power of film to entertain, engage and enrage has been amply demonstrated over the last weeks, and the 2012 line-up offers a tantalizing glimpse into how some very different societies use film as protest, propaganda, or simply entertainment.

"Dr. Qassimlu Street," a film with a clear mission, tells a fictitious story highlighting a very real situation -- the plight of the suppressed Kurdish minority in Iran -- shot underground style with non-professional actors under sometimes dangerous conditions in northern Iraq, by a former Iranian dissident now living abroad.

Directly from the other side comes "Laboratory," that rarest of films to make it to the West -- an entertaining and slickly produced Iranian comedy. The Egyptian-US documentary "Uprising" allows for a close up and intimate glimpse into one of the key events of the Arab Spring, and the US feature "The Citizen" highlights the challenges facing an Arab immigrant coming to live in America after the September 11 attacks.

On the home front, the stories tend to be no less engaging but more introspective, with wonderfully evocative, more personal stories like the world premieres of "Chasing Home" or local indies "Last Day of August" and "Indigo Children." Eastern European movies, by now a tradition at Gotham Screen, spanning from Slovenia to Russia, like "The Exam" or "Kosmonavtika," bring tales of humor and suspense amid an undertow of political and economic anxiety. And the new partnership with Striped Entertainment this year delivers a quartet of recent UK discoveries -- all US or world premieres.

Last year's festival drew over 2000 filmgoers, filmmakers and industry insiders to lower Manhattan platforming films that were subsequently picked up for domestic and international distribution. In the past, Gotham Screen has hosted discoveries such as "How To Be," starring a yet to be famous Robert Pattinson, or "Pretty Ugly People," the first film of talented but by then unknown director Tate Taylor whose second film, "The Help" went on to Oscar honors and worldwide box office success. Others, such as the Belgian film, "Loft" which had its US premiere at Gotham Screen in 2009 has been remade for the US market with James Marsden, Wentworth Miller, Karl Urban, Rhona Mitra and Rachael Taylor, to be released in early 2013.

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