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Telephone: + 1 (626) 737-8357




RAINDANCE FILM FESTIVAL // London, England // October 2014
Opening Night Gala Film: PERLEN // Hannover, Germany // October 2014
Homochrom // Filmforum Koln, Germany // October 2014
Birminghamd SHOUT // Special Event Screening
Schauburg Dortmund LGBT Film Festival, Germany 
XIII Festival Int'l de Cine Pobre // Baja, Mexico // May 2015

KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival / May 2015
OM Film Festival // Kansas City // 5 September 2015 (Cinemark at the Plaza BUY TICKETS)




“It’s a film about life and love and sexuality and gender and identity and acceptance.”
MJ Simpson, Film Critic


“OCCUPYING ED is a completely original concept and perfectly timed to take in the debate on who we are as a culture. It reveals that who we are is more complicated than who we appear to be.”
Rick Jacobs, Courage Campaign


“Quite entertaining, sweet and tender.”
Matt Micucci, CINECOLA


“In a time where originality is a rarity in cinema, Occupying Ed couldn’t have come any sooner.”
Alexandra Kessie, The Trash Bash blog


“The romantic comedy is one of the most clichéd genres in film, with a recipe of beats to be followed with precision. When a film comes along that feels unique and fresh, it should be celebrated. ‘Occupying Ed’ is one such film.  By taking the traditional tropes of the genre and subtly subverting them, Balderson and Beard have crafted a delightful film with note-perfect characters given life by a great cast… Exciting, funny and pleasant, but where the film succeeds most is in the way it discreetly touches on the deeper issues, such as the importance of accepting people – and ourselves – for who they are..”
Mark Rogers, British Film Critic


“Like its titular character, OCCUPYING ED has a split personality- one is delightfully screwball and irreverent, while the other is surprisingly touching and tender.”

Jillian Lauren, New York Times bestselling author of SOME GIRLS


“The independent film industry is in trouble (I should know) and OCCUPYING ED could help resuscitate it. Balderson’s excellent film deserves to be seen. It’s sublime, eloquent, sensitive and very entertaining. I was enthralled…”
Lloyd Kaufman, Pres. Troma Entertainment and former
president of the Independent Film & Television Alliance


“Wonderfully imaginative, and very sweet natured. Bravo!”
Ian Shorr, Screenwriter of CHRISTO and CAPSULE, Blacklist


“Different and emotionally poetic, OCCUPYING ED will touch you with a benevolent desire to strive for greater understanding of yourself and of others.”
Sarah Burris, Daily Kos


“This unique picture evokes Nicholas Ray’s manifesto, ‘I’m a stranger here myself.’ A provocative, generous-spirited, kind-hearted shocker of a film. OCCUPYING ED is a true leap forward toward the understanding of people, relationships, gender, commitment and all those things we value in interpersonal bonds.”
Eric Sherman, Producer-Director, Author DIRECTING THE FILM


“It is at once smart, funny and strange and only the latest contribution to the evolution of a very bright young filmmaker.”
Chloe Chelz, independent curator


“OCCUPYING ED is everything an independent film should be: intelligently written, expertly directed, and marvelously acted. Equal parts hilarious and touching.”
Richard Uhlig, author


“Great movie… Original and brilliant.”
Sally Kirkland, Oscar nominee and Golden Globe winner


“A seriocomic look at split personality disorder. A droll, off-center mashup of A SERIOUS MAN, SYBIL, and KABLUEY, the film digs deep to mine the emotional rollercoaster of a man in search of the best sides of himself. Featuring emotionally warm, challenging performances, OCCUPYING ED is a breath of fresh air in the conversation of identity/gender/sexual orientation politics.”
Glenn Gaylord, Film Director I DO



Screenplay by JAMES LAIR BEARD





Christopher Sams Ed/Helena
Holly Hinton Nicole
John Werskey Troy
Chris Pudlo Bruce
Pleasant Gehman June
Garrett Swann Pastor Pete
Melissa Atchison Dr. Frank
Ben Windholz Lonnie
Dwight Tolar Hank
John Strickland Officer Greg
Jennifer Guindon Sheila
Amanda Deibert Lucy
Betti O. Mary
Joe L DeFrancesco Marco
Frank Siegle Howard
Kelsi Walton Kathy
Eric Himan Vince
Elizabeth Cook Geraldine
Andrew K Miller Oscar
Sebastian Balderson Kaleb
Leah Lange Ella
Matt Weight Ian
Clay Myers-Bowman Pharmacist
Bobbie Sue Flowers Phyllis
Laura Perez Irmgard
Krysten Day Sales Lady
Olivia Bashaw Cheryl
Jason Nivens Radio Jock

With Appearances by:
Clark Balderson, Kara Holle, Seth Holle, Anne Haines, Olivia Sieck, Jordan Holt
Emily Atchison, Christine Beard, James Beard, Braden Erickson, Rick Munson
John D. Stover, Tiffany Erickson, Robert L. Atchison, Robert Rosenberg
Alice Boyle, Tonya Ricklefs, Gabby Van Sickle, Ashley Wells, Ben Brake
Jennifer Edwards, Deveneux Hill, Richard New, Jason E. Turner, Jordan Mizell
Gena K. Mantz, Dianne Paukstelis, Karen Myers-Bowman, Cameron Myers-Bowman
Jakob Borgen, Jameson Sedlacek, Samantha Siciliano, Linda Uthoff
Andrew J. Patterson, Lou Ann Thomas, Jennifer Dreiling

Director of Photography Daniel Stephens
Assistant Camera Daniel St. Amand
Second Camera Steve Balderson
First Assistant Michael Page
Production Assistant Clay Myers-Bowman
Helena’s Paintings Steve Balderson
Helena’s Make-Up Design Pleasant Gehman
Helena’s Costume Design Arnetta Bryant, Leah Luker, Chris Mueller
Photographers Maryann Bates, Rachel Braddy
Production Sound Michael Page


Original Score by 

Kevin Peirce


Featured Music:



“Westphalia Waltz”“John Stinson’s #2”Performed byThe Atchison Family Band


“Don’t Count The Beers”The Mark Merritt Bandwords & music by Sievert AhrendPublished by Choo Choo Seven


“Winter Song”Written and performed by A.K. RiverProduced by Nick Alpers, Tucker Bodine, and Elliott LanamPublished by Grand Master Oso Publishing


“You Are My Planet”“Continents Were Made To Sink”By Quiet Arrows© Attic Ladder Records (ASCAP)


“Coming Down In Style”By Michael Casali


“Last Exit To Jericho Park”

Words and music by Larry CostlowPerformed by Squib Cakes

Executive Producers

Heidi and Matt Simonin, Scott Becker, Michael Pennick

Jeff Schulte, Christine Beard, Peter Schmidt
Wayne and Glenna Benson-Harper, David Milazzo
Jett McCabe, Rodger Allen, Fred and Mary Beard
April Ruppel, Kali Beard, Gerry Harper


Special Thanks:

Clark Balderson and Larry Costlow, Mimi Balderson and Chuck Jackson, Kay and Chuck Holle, Thom Jackson and Joe Braun, Noah Reagan, Christian Dodge, Electrical Concepts, Clay and Karen Myers-Bowman, Lisa and Roger Ward, Bluestem Bistro, Don Baldwin, Berner Jewelers, The Columbian Theatre, Gene’s Heartland Grocery, St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Masonic Lodge of Wamego, Wamego Drug Store, Todd King, Lincoln Street Lanes, Strecker/Nelson Gallery, Lincoln Street Station, Dymax, Belle Glos Wine, Green Hat Distilled Gin, Dewar’s Candy, Kali Beard, Krystyn Tully, Robin & Jim Richardson, Brandon Lucas, Justin Gordon, Jennifer Sercia, Nick Hetherington, Jason Vail, Nadine Mayhew, Irmgard Beard, Chelsea de Steuben, Writers Boot Camp, Leighann Milazzo, Shaun Kadlec , Rick Jacobs, Paul Battista, Jessica & Paul Fidalgo, James Keegan, Anne Colwell, Miriam & Daniel Burrows, Huntley Skinker, Ashley Levin, Clinton Brandhagen, Ingrid & John Stockton, Leigh Shelton, Sarah Burris, Annemarie Strassel, Antonio Mendoza, Sofia Beeson, Kim Milton, Laura Cullip-Brennan, Caroline Pierotto, Jeremy & Mari Onesko, Howard & Annie Becker, Rick Gifford, Andrea Arnold


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