For Immediate Release
August 20, 2019
Media Contact: Tracy Pfiffner
BendFilm To Screen Four Films Vachon Launched Including First Reformed, Carol,
Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and Boys Don’t Cry
Bend, OR – BendFilm announced today plans to celebrate independent film producer Christine Vachon as IndieWoman of the Year during the 16th annual BendFilm Festival. BendFilm will formally recognize Vachon for her tireless work to foster diverse voices in independent film and her bold vision to champion stories that steer outside the mainstream.
Celebrations will include a screening series of four films produced by Vachon including Carol, First Reformed, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and Boys Don’t Cry. Each screening will be followed by a guided Q&A session where Vachon will share insights from her 30-year producing career and ground-breaking experience in the industry.
BendFilm Director, Todd Looby, said, “The IndieWoman of the Year award is named for Pamela Hulse Andrews a longtime Bend business leader, arts supporter and force of nature who inspired women across all business sectors. Christine Vachon embodies this same generous, innovative and tenacious spirit and we look forward to honoring her in October.”
With this award, BendFilm also acknowledges the invaluable role producers play in the independent film industry where budgets are often small and creative solutions are needed to get the attention of funders or distributors. The role of a producer is wide-ranging and can include everything from selecting scripts, casting, hiring, finding funding sources and helping with marketing and distribution when it’s complete. Producers are the unsung heroes who spend countless hours behind the scenes wrangling crucial details that can ultimately make or break a project and subsequently a director’s career. Film critics have long praised Vachon for her fearlessness in “telling the stories Hollywood won’t” and for having the grit to champion up-and-coming directors that turn into mainstays like Todd Haynes (Carol), Todd Solondz (Happiness), Mary Harron (I Shot Andy Warhol), Kimberly Pierce (Boys Don’t Cry), and John Cameron Mitchell (Hedwig and the Angry Inch).
Vachon co-founded, with Pamela Koffler, the impactful independent film and television production company Killer Films in 1995. Throughout her career, she has guided more than 70 films to the screen. Vachon has been recognized as an Independent Spirit Award-winning producer and has received the Producer Award from the Gotham Independent Film Awards. Vachon is also the Artistic Director of the MFA program at Stony Brook University.
BendFilm’s Head of Festival Programming, Erik Jambor, said, ”We are honored to celebrate Christine Vachon who has been the powerful driving force behind some of independent film’s most impactful stories. Her instincts, creativity, and determination have all helped bring unrepresented characters to the screen and new directors to the chair.”
Producer Christine Vachon, said, ”If you want to have a sustainable career in filmmaking, the trick is to be as entrepreneurial as possible. What that means is being open to as many different kinds of storytelling and platforms for storytelling as you possibly can be. There is no crystal ball and the industry has changed in a million different ways, and what matters is the ability to adapt.”
Killer Film’s Oscar-winning films have included Kimberly Peirce’s Boys Don’t Cry and Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland’s Still Alice. Its Oscar-nominated films have included Todd Haynes’ Carol, I’m Not There, and Far from Heaven. The latter swept the Independent Spirit Awards, winning five including Best Actress (Julianne Moore), Best Director, and Best Feature. In her capacity as producer, Vachon has most recently been nominated in the Spirits’ Best Feature category for First Reformed; the film also garnered an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay, among other honors.
Vachon’s dozens of other Killer movies have included Mr. Haynes’ Safe, Velvet Goldmine, and Wonderstruck; Todd Solondz’s Wiener-Dog, Storytelling, and Happiness; Miguel Arteta’s Beatriz at Dinner, starring Salma Hayek and John Lithgow; Nigel Finch’s Stonewall; Rose Troche’s The Safety of Objects, which marked the breakout role for Kristen Stewart; Todd Graff’s Camp, which marked the breakthrough role for Anna Kendrick; Mary Harron’s The Notorious Bettie Page starring Gretchen Mol; Tommy O’Haver’s An American Crime, starring Catherine Keener and Ellen Page; Jordan Scott’s Cracks, with Juno Temple and Maria Valverde; Andrew Neel’s Goat; Elizabeth Wood’s White Girl, starring Morgan Saylor; Andrew Dosunmu Where is Kyra?, starring Michelle Pfeiffer; Paul Schrader’s First Reformed; and, Brady Corbet’s Vox Lux, starring Natalie Portman, Raffey Cassidy, and Jennifer Jason Leigh.
About the IndieWomen of the Year Award:
BendFilm created the IndieWomen of the Year award in 2018 in honor of the late Pamela Hulse Andrews who was a Bend business leader and advocate for the arts for more than 25 years.. Debra Granik and Producer Anne Rosselini received the award at the 2018 Festival. Pamela was a passionate arts advocate who worked tirelessly to support women in film. For many years, Pamela organized the Independent Women for Independent Film group that raised money for several BendFilm awards and helped BendFilm survive the economic downturn in the late 2000’s. BendFilm will carry on Pamela’s memory through this award, presenting it to female artists who demonstrate an exceptional passion for independent film, bravely shares her authentic voice and makes extraordinary contributions to the independent body of work.
The Bend Film Festival is supported in part by a grant from the Bend Cultural Tourism Fund, the BNSF Foundation, and the Deschutes Cultural Coalition
BendFilm hosts an annual independent film festival, year-round film exhibitions and programs, and is the new owner of the Tin Pan Theater – a boutique arthouse cinema located in downtown Bend’s Tin Pan Alley. The organization is designed to support and nourish filmmakers and enrich the cultural life of Central Oregon while also providing an economic benefit to the region. Celebrating its 16th year, BendFilm is proud to bring diverse voices and visions to the Bend community. The BendFilm Festival runs every October in downtown Bend, Oregon, at The Oxford Hotel, McMenamins – Old St. Francis, Regal Cinemas, the Tin Pan Theater and the historic Tower Theatre. Make plans now to attend (October 10-13, 2019) for four days of inspiring independent cinema, panels and parties, in beautiful Bend, a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts, foodies, beer lovers and stunning natural scenery. BendFilm is made possible by a dedicated crew of volunteers and generous sponsors. For more information, call (541) 388-3378 or visit www.bendfilm.org. Connect with BendFilm on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.