New York and Southampton, NY, March 11, 2015 - Stony Brook University announced today that Christine Vachon, Founder of legendary indie production company Killer Films and Graduate Director of Stony Brook's innovative Master of Fine Arts in Film Program, will be a keynote speaker at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Music Conference and Film Festival. Vachon will give her keynote speech on Tuesday, March 17 at the Austin Convention Center.
Vachon, alongside Killer Films' Co-Founder Pamela Koffler, who is also part of the illustrious faculty at Stony Brook's film program, has produced over 80 acclaimed features, from Academy Award® winning BOYS DON'T CRY and Academy Award® nominated FAR FROM HEAVEN, and soon-to-be released CAROL directed by Todd Haynes, starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara. Killer Films production STILL ALICE earned the 2014 Academy Award® for "Best Actress in a Leading Role" for Julianne Moore, who also won the Best Actress Golden Globe Award, Screen Actors Guild Award, BAFTA Award, and Independent Spirit Award.
Robert Reeves, Associate Provost of Southampton Graduate Arts, said, "Christine Vachon is an influential visionary in the film world and one of the greatest independent filmmakers alive. Our students at Stony Brook's Graduate Film Program learn from true artists like Christine who think outside the box and are passionate that our students graduate not only with an MFA degree but also the ability to tell compelling original stories through different mediums."
Former Stony Brook student Jeanne Applegate served as an editor on Killer Films Nasty Baby starring Kristen Wiig and Alia Shawkat, and co-editor for Russian punk band Pussy Riot's latest video for their new song I CAN'T BREATHE. Pussy Riot and their video tribute to Eric Garner were recently featured on CNN.
Magdalene Brandeis, Associate Director, said, "We are proud to be partnering with Christine and Killer Films. Christine will be giving her keynote on the state of the film industry at SXSW, a topic that is so important to aspiring filmmakers. We at Stony Brook share her commitment to nurturing the next generation of great filmmakers and storytellers, such as the immensely talented Jeanne Applegate, who -- like all our students -- received real-world practical training and experience without incurring crushing debt."