2015 Film: Guest Speaker (archive)

FILM: Guest Speaker Event

Our Guest Speaker this year is legendary Independent film producer Christine Vachon. She will be screening her 1995 film, SAFE (dir. Todd Haynes) and participating in a Q&A + conversation with our audience after, led by Independent producer/Wassaic Project film-committee member, DAVID KAPLAN (It FollowsObvious ChildDrinking BuddiesShort Term 12 and the upcoming Louder Than Bombs).

RSVP FOR THIS EVENT – Limited Seating

SATURDAY, August 1st – 1:30PM-4:30PM

Guest Speaker Christine Vachon screening Todd Haynes’ Safe
+ Q&A and discussion led by David Kaplan @ Cattle Auction Ring

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Vachon is an Independent Spirit Award winner and Gotham Award winner. After founding KILLER FILMS with Pamela Koffler in 1995, together, they have produced more than 65 projects together including some of the most important titles in independent cinema: Far From Heaven (nominated for four Academy Awards); Boys Don’t Cry (Oscar winner for best actress); One Hour PhotoHedwig and the Angry InchHappinessVelvet GoldmineKidsSAFEI Shot Andy WarholGo FishSwoonI’m Not There; and Still Alice.

Their recent TV projects include the Golden Globe winning HBO mini-series Mildred Pierce, a five part adaptation of James M Cain’s novel starring Kate Winslet and Evan Rachel Wood, and Z, an Amazon series about the life of Zelda Fitzgerald starring Christina Ricci. We’re excited to bring these two prolific and exciting independent producers together to share their thoughts, as we know them both to share extraordinary passion for bringing underrepresented voices and vital topics to the big screen as well as taking risks on challenging material.

Past Wassaic Festival Guest Speakers have included: Mike Birbiglia (Sleepwalk With Me), Martin Starr (Silicon ValleyAdventurelandFreaks & Geeks).


SAFE / U.S.A. (written and directed by Todd Haynes, PRESENTED BY producer Christine Vachon) – “Todd Haynes’s enviro-disease masterpiece Safe might just be the most terrifying film of the last decade. There are no monsters or homicidal maniacs here—instead, the film’s horror emanates from an abstruse place where suburban drudgery gives way to a self-inflicted, existential crisis.” (quoted from Slant’s Sal Cinquemani, 2002) *followed by Guest Conversation with producer CHRISTINE VACHON, moderated by David Kaplan



2015 Guest Conversation Moderator and Wassaic Film Committee Member
Independent Producer, co-founder Animal Kingdom Films

One of the co-founders of New York City based production company Animal Kingdom, Kaplan’s credits include Destin Daniel Cretton’s “Short Term 12” (executive producer, SXSW 2013), Joe Swanberg’s “Drinking Buddies” (executive producer, SXSW 2013), Gillian Robespierre’s “Obvious Child” (executive producer, Sundance 2014), David Robert Mitchell’s “It Follows” (producer, Cannes 2014) and Ariel Kleinman’s “Partisan” (executive producer, Sundance 2015)

Kaplan is currently in post-production on Justin Tipping’s “Kicks” — which shot in the Bay Area over the Fall of 2014. Additionally, Animal Kingdom is currently in post on two other films — Adam Smith’s “Trespass Against Us” starring Michael Fassbender and Brendan Gleason and Joachim Trier’s “Louder Than Bombs” starring Gabriel Byrne, Isabelle Huppert and Jesse Eisenberg. The company is currently gearing up for features by writer/directors Adam Leon, Eliza Hitman, and Jim Jarmush — all tentatively slated to begin production over the next calendar year.

Kaplan has previously served as a single picture finance executive at Cinetic Media and as the director of development at Killer Films. He was named one of Variety’s “10 Producers to Watch” in the Fall of 2014 and one of Screen International’s “Future Leaders” in the Spring of 2015.