University of Vermont

The College of Arts and Sciences

Film and Television Studies

Jon Kilik and "Foxcatcher"

Film and Television Studies Guest Speaker

This past December, the entire UVM campus was invited to two free screenings of the Vermont premiere of Foxcatcher, a new film starring Mark Ruffalo, Channing Tatum, and Steve Carell, brought by UVM alumnus and Hollywood producer Jon Kilik ('78). The local media were eager to interview the Oscar-nominated producer, but his visit was especially important to the UVM students.  Excited to see the film, the students came in droves to two screenings on a cold December evening.  During the Q&A, they wanted Kilik to discuss the film but focused primarily on his career path.  How did this UVM graduate become one of the most successful independent producers?  And how did he move from producing smaller independent films to larger budget Hollywood films like The Hunger Games?

Kilik has produced more than 40 critically acclaimed films, including The Hunger Games, Dead Man Walking, and Do the Right Thing. Directors like Spike Lee, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Julian Schnabel, Oliver Stone, and Jim Jarmusch prize Kilik for his unflinching commitment to the artistic success of his films. At the time of this event, Kilik had both Foxcatcher and Mockingjay in theaters and UVM students were able to hear him comment of this amazing success.

As in past visits, Kilik explained that his filmmaking career began in the many different courses he took here at UVM.  This was especially true about the courses he took with his film professor Frank Manchel.  Though Professor Manchel is now retired, Kilik still stays in touch with him as well as with the current Film and Television professors and students.