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May 13, 2008


NEW YORK, May 13, 2008 - To employ a well-worn saying, look up the term ‘Independent Producer’ in the dictionary and you will find a picture of Christine Vachon. Ms. Vachon will bring stories from her adventures in the movie business as this year’s keynote speaker at Cityvisions 2008, the tenth annual juried film festival of The City College of New York’s (CCNY) M.F.A. in Media Arts Production program.

Her opening speech will kick off the festival, which is being held at The Directors Guild of America Theater, 110 W. 57th St. in Manhattan, and is celebrating its first decade on the New York film scene this year.  It begins at 6 p.m. Friday, May 30, and continues on Saturday May 31 beginning at 12 noon.  In all, 12 new short documentaries and fiction films by members of the Class of 2008 will be screened and compete for awards.  

“This year’s line-up shines a spotlight on the level of talent in this group and their ability to forge real artistic and social issues into great stories,” said MFA Program Director Professor Dave Davidson.  “The diversity in these works is extraordinary,”

The 12 short films include:

  • The story of a lunch bucket guy from the Bronx who bonds with his daughter through their shared love of ballet;
  • The tragedy of a mass suicide in Okinawa during World War II;
  • The fight of locals against developers to save the character of old Coney Island;
  • A surrealistic drama about a young couple who have a metaphorical “monster” in their basement, and
  • A look into the subculture of folks who seek alternative identities by dressing in animal suits.

The 2008 Cityvisions Festival reunites Ms. Vachon and The M.F.A. Program.  She served as the program’s Artist-in-Residence in 2006.  

Since producing Todd Haynes’ controversial first feature, “Poison,” in 1991, Ms. Vachon  has gone on to produce some of the most acclaimed American independent films including “Far From Heaven,” which was nominated for four Academy Awards (2002), “Boys Don’t Cry,” for which Hilary Swank won the Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role (1999), and, in 2007, Todd Haynes’s “I’m Not There,” which starred Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Richard Gere, and Heath Ledger.  Ms. Blanchett received Academy Award and SAG Award nominations for her role in that film.

Cityvisions admission is free, but audience members must have a ticket.  For information, call April Gatling at 212-650-7235

About The City College of New York

For more than 160 years, The City College of New York has provided low-cost, high-quality education for New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines.  Over 14,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; The School of Architecture, Urban Design and Landscape Architecture (SAUDLA); The School of Education; The Grove School of Engineering, and The Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education.  For additional information, visit www.ccny.cuny.edu.