UNDER THE INFLUENCE: Joy Gharoro-Akpojotor and Christine Vachon

Latest 3 Aug 2020

News Story

FIlm still from Go Fish (1994) - two women about to kiss

Go Fish (1994) directed by Rose Troche, produced by Christine Vachon

“Change is a time for opportunity.”

As part of Under the Influence, a new BFI NETWORK/Film Hub London series pairing up-and-coming talent with their biggest professional inspirations, producers Joy Gharoro-Akpojotor and Christine Vachon sat down to chat creative producing, collaboration, and tracing the trajectory of queer cinema from the 90s to today.

They also explored the changing nature of the film industry, both in creating a queer space unimaginable when Christine set out in the early 90s, and in mapping the change that still needs to happen both in front of and behind the camera.

Watch the full online discussion below.

Christine is one of the most creative and in-demand producers working today, and her company Killer Films is responsible producing the likes of Boys Don't Cry (1999), Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001) and Todd Haynes films such as Safe (1996), Far From Heaven (2002) and Carol(2015).

Hot off the heels of producing the award-winning BFI NETWORK-funded short Haircut(2018), Joy's first theatrically released feature Blue Story(2019) came out to high acclaim late last year.

Joy credits Christine, and her 2006 autobiography A Killer Life, as the reason she got into producing, and the two covered Christine’s early experiences on the likes of Go Fish andSafe, and the carving out of a queer space in cinema, as well as the practicalities of making films for a very particular audience.

They also discussed working with first-time directors, the significance of the producer-director relationship and the importance of diversity behind the camera, while Christine gave some incredibly insightful advice to young filmmakers on everything from dealing with a negative critical reception to selling a product that isn’t all that you hoped.

Both filmmakers also voiced their hopes for the future, for the many stories that have not yet been told, and the voices underrepresented on screen. Change, as Christine says, is a time for opportunity.