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Filmmaker to discuss her work, March 1

Christine Vachon, founder of and partner in Killer Films, will discuss her work at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 1, in the Stewart Film Theater, 185 Nassau St.

The independent company has produced more than 30 films, including "Far From Heaven," "Boys Don't Cry," "Kids," "One Hour Photo" and "Happiness."

The lecture will be preceded by a screening of "Boys Don't Cry" by Kimberly Peirce at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 26, in the Stewart Film Theater.

For more than a decade, Killer Films has produced films for directors as diverse as Todd Haynes, Kimberly Peirce, Todd Solondz, Robert Altman, Mary Harron, Larry Clark and John Waters. The company's movies have been nominated for seven Academy Awards, most famously when Hilary Swank won the Best Actress Oscar in 1999 for "Boys Don't Cry." This fall, the Museum of Modern Art marked the 10th anniversary of the company -- now headed by Vachon, Pamela Koffler and Katie Roumel -- with a retrospective.

Killer's history began in 1991, when Vachon produced Haynes' first feature, "Poison." The film won the grand jury prize at the Sundance Film Festival and was thrust into the limelight when Sen. Jesse Helms and the far right protested the National Endowment for the Arts' involvement in the film. Over the years, the New York-based company has continued its commitment to produce visionary films without shrinking from controversy.

When Killer was officially founded in 1995, it took its name from artist Cindy Sherman’s debut feature, the slasher film send-up "Office Killer." Other company highlights include Solondz’s seminal portrait of dysfunction in suburban America, "Happiness"; John Cameron Mitchell’s gender-bending rock odyssey, "Hedwig and the Angry Inch"; Haynes' homage to 1950 melodrama, "Far From Heaven," featuring actress Julianne Moore, which was nominated for four Academy Awards in 2002; and the company's biggest financial success, Mark Romanek's "One Hour Photo," starring Robin Williams.

2006 will see the release of three new Killer films. "Mrs. Harris," based on the true-life Scarsdale diet doctor murder, stars Annette Bening and Ben Kingsley and is directed by Phyllis Nagy. Mary Harron reteams with Killer on "The Notorious Bettie Page," a look into the life of the '50s pin-up icon starring Gretchen Mol. In "Infamous," director Douglas McGrath explores Truman Capote's relationship with convicted killer Perry Smith as he writes his groundbreaking nonfiction novel, "In Cold Blood." British theater favorite Toby Jones leads a cast including Sandra Bullock, Daniel Craig, Sigourney Weaver, Jeff Daniels, Hope Davis, Isabella Rossellini and Gwyneth Paltrow.

In the pipeline at Killer for future release are Haynes' new film concerning Bob Dylan, "I'm Not There," which will star Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Colin Farrell, Richard Gere, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Julianne Moore; an adaptation of Brad Land’s memoir "Goat," which David Gordon Green has written and will direct; and "Kimberly Akimbo," based on the hit off-Broadway play by David Lindsay-Abaire.

In addition to earning Academy Award nominations, Vachon, her company and its films have received numerous other honors including Independent Spirit Awards, top prizes from the Sundance, Venice, Cannes and Berlin film festivals, special tributes from the Deauville, SXSW and Provincetown film festivals, the producer award from the National Board of Review and the Independent Feature Project Gotham Award for producer of the year.

Vachon's book, "Shooting to Kill: How an Independent Producer Blasts Through the Barriers to Make Movies That Matter," was published by Avon in the fall 1998 and was a Los Angeles Times bestseller. Her second book, "A Killer Life: How An Independent Producer Survives Deals and Disasters in Hollywood and Beyond," will be published in fall 2006 by Simon and Schuster.

The event, slated as the John Sacret Young '69 Lecture, is being organized by the Program in Visual Arts.

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