ACCLAIMED FILMMAKER GARRETT SCOTT: IN MEMORIAM
Filmmaker Garrett Scott, whose film "Occupation: Dreamland" won the Truer Than Fiction Award at the 2006 Independent Spirit Awards ceremony on Saturday March 4th., passed away on Thursday, March 2, 2006 in San Diego, California. Garrett was in California preparing for that ceremony when he suffered a cardiac arrhythmia while swimming, which he loved to do.
Garrett Scott and Ian Old’s “Occupation: Dreamland,” a documentary feature that unflinchingly follows a group of American soldiers deployed in Iraq was also short listed for a 2006 Academy Award®.
Garrett was hailed prominently by Filmmaker Magazine as one of the "20 new faces in film to watch" in 2002. His directorial debut, “Cul de Sac: A Suburban War Story” premiered at the NY Underground Film Festival and screened at the Toronto International Film Festival 2002 and numerous other festivals before being acquired for broadcast by the Sundance Channel in 2004 and ARTE-France in 2005. In addition to promoting "Occupation: Dreamland", Garrett was working on a documentary about city politics in San Francisco in the 1970's as well as developing a documentary to be shot in Afghanistan with his frequent collaborator Ian Olds.
"...He was so compassionate as a human being. It's rare to find someone with such a sharp, fierce mind but at the same time have this incredibly warm heart.'' – said Ian Olds recently of his friend and filmmaking partner - “I loved him like a brother. I miss him already.”
Recently Garrett commented to buzzflash.com about why he and Olds decided to go to Iraq, "It might sound sentimental, but I think we really wanted to know what these soldiers were going through, and what their lives were like. I decided I wanted to go in April of 2003 because we'd been seeing so much on television, but the news coverage was just empty. We really had no idea what any of these guys were thinking. It was a lot of rhetoric from journalists and media people, or Pentagon people and officers. I wanted to know what life was like for the men and women on the lowest end of the totem pole."
Garrett first went to Iraq in the summer of 2003 to determine if access would be possible, then he and Olds returned in December, and eventually embedded with the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division, stationed in Falluja, for six weeks. The film, which received critical raves during its recent national theatrical release, debuts on DVD Tuesday, March 7, 2006 and is scheduled to air on the Sundance Channel March 19, 2006.
Garrett was born in Munich on November 19th, 1969 to a U.S. military family, and grew up in Coronado, CA where he lived until college. He received a bachelor's degree in English at UC Santa Barbara and an MA from the University of Wisconsin in Milwalkee.
Garrett lived in New York City with his girlfriend Rachael Rakes and is survived by his mother, Lynne, his father, Terry, and stepmother, D.B., all of Coronado; a brother, Gavin, of Arcata (Humboldt County); and a sister, Morgan, of Chico.
A memorial service will be held Saturday at St. Paul's Methodist Church in Coronado, CA. Plans are being made for another service in New York later this month and details will be posted at www.occupationdreamland.com.
Working Films, a 501(c)(3) has offered to collect tax-deductible donations to create a fund to honor Garrett Scott. Details of the fund will be announced soon. For more information go to www.workingfilms.org/paypal.html.