One of the most influential producers in the independent film industry, Christine Vachon was behind many of the groundbreaking indie films of the 1990s. Her name has been associated in particular with a number of the gay and lesbian independent films of that decade, an association that began when she produced her first film, Todd Haynes' Poison, in 1991. The controversial film -- which sparked a controversy about NEA funding -- was awarded the Sundance Festival's Grand Jury Prize. That same year, Vachon produced video artist Tom Kalin's debut film, Swoon. Based on the infamous Leopold and Loeb murder case, it garnered the 1992 Berlin Film Festival's Caligari Award.
Some of Vachon's other credits include Rose Troche's Go Fish (1994), a film that was widely credited with signaling the advent of modern lesbian cinema; Haynes' acclaimed Safe (1995), Larry Clark's controversial Kids (1995), Mary Harron's I Shot Andy Warhol (1996), Todd Solondz's Happiness (1998), Haynes' lavish glam rock paean Velvet Goldmine (1998), which earned a Special Jury Award at Cannes; and Kimberly Peirce's Boys Don't Cry (1999), a highly acclaimed film about Brandon Teena, a young woman whose courageous decision to live as a man met with tragic results. Vachon has earned a number of honors over the course of her career, and has also authored a best-selling book, Shooting to Kill: How an Independent Producer Blasts Through the Barriers to Make Movies that Matter.