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American New Wave 25: Jen Gatien

Christine Vachon might have been a pioneer for women working as independent film producers, but there are a good bunch that are joining the ranks. I’d be tempted to say that NYC-based producer Jen Gatien comes from the school of hard knocks, as she was the driving force behind a pair of films which weren’t the easiest to bring to market in the Cannes selected Abel Ferrara’s Chelsea on the Rocks and the controversial Sundance drama Hounddog.

Christine Vachon might have been a pioneer for women working as independent film producers, but there are a good bunch that are joining the ranks. I’d be tempted to say that NYC-based producer Jen Gatien also comes from the school of hard knocks, as she was the driving force behind a pair of films which weren’t the easiest to bring to market in the Cannes selected Abel Ferrara’s Chelsea on the Rocks and the controversial Sundance drama Hounddog. A producer who moonlights between producing some edgy documentary films and feature films with emerging filmmaker talents, you could say that with her current cluster of projects (in all stages of production) that this counts as her true breakout year, but Gatien has been involved in the indie biz since her internship beginnings about a decade ago at October Films (the roots of the Focus Features’ shingle).

Jen Gatien Producer IONCINEMA.com American New Wave

Gatien’s DeerJen Films’ busy 2010 calendar year began with a preem at Sundance with Kevin Asch‘s Holy Rollers, she then shepherded So Yong Kim’s For Ellen in frigid February, moved into the spring/summer season with the preem for Josh Sternfeld’s Meskada at Tribeca and commenced filming on the highly anticipated Jack and Diane (Bradley Rust Grey). Current docs in post prod include Darius Clark Monroe’s introspective Evolution of a Criminal and Billy Corben’s Limelight which both look poised for a TIFF or NYFF launches. And Gatien isn’t done yet in 2010. She’s got The Girl is in Trouble (with Spike Lee exec-producing) this summer, Predisposed this fall, and Grand Street to complete the cycle this winter.

 
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Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at IONCINEMA.com, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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