Indie Icon: Kimberly Peirce
Kimberly Peirce is a passionate American feature film director. She was born in Pennsylvania is 1967 and since then has been all over the globe. While attending the University of Chicago she traveled to Japan for two years to work as an English teacher and photographer. After college she attended Columbia University as a graduate film student. It was here that she put her name on the map as a promising aspiring director after making a short film that was nominated for the Princess Grace Award by the Columbia Faculty. The film was her thesis project inspired by the life and death of Brandon Teena, a transgender from Nebraska who was raped and murdered.
With the short film Kimberly was awarded an Astrea Production Grant in order to help fund making the short into a feature film. When Boys Don’t Cry released it was one of the most talked about films of the year and Kimberly became a well-known talented director. The film was particularly impressive because it was Peirce’s debut film, and she won honors as Best Debut Director from the National Board of Review. In addition she also won Best New Filmmaker from the Boston Society of Film Critics. The film starred Hilary Swank and was a powerful intense experience for all its viewers. Perice’s passion as an advocate for lesbian, gay, and trans rights translated into an amazing story of identity crisis, love, loss, and confusion.
After Boys Don’t Cry Peirce collaborated with Mark Richard and helped write Stop-Loss, a drama inspired by the real life stories of American soldiers. Like Boys Don’t Cry, Peirce stuck to making films about real life stories and situations. The reality of the situations in Peirce’s films makes them particularly powerful and influential. As a director Peirce has always and continues to write about real life stories.