- This event has passed.
7.13.17 – Christian Gaines
July 13, 2017 @ 12:00 pm - 1:15 pm
Christian Gaines was born in Brussels, Belgium to American parents, moved to the United Kingdom when he was four years old, then came to the United States in 1984 to attend Vassar College, graduating in 1987 with a B.A. in English Literature.
In 1988, Christian helped to start the American Pavilion at the Cannes Film Festival, serving until 1994 as Administrative Director of this communication and hospitality center for the American film community attending Cannes. In 1990, he also went to work for the Hawaii International Film Festival as Administrator, and then served as Film Coordinator and Film Programmer in Hawaii from 1992 until 1994, dividing his time between Honolulu, Los Angeles and Cannes. During that time, he also coordinated the Asia-Pacific Film Tour, a fifteen-film, eleven-city tour of films from Asia and the Pacific Rim.
In August 1994, Christian was appointed Senior Film Programmer at the Sundance Film Festival where he was part of the team that programmed the 1995 and 1996 Sundance Film Festivals. He was also the first Director of New Media for the Sundance Institute and a consultant for the Sundance Channel. From 1996 to 2000 he served as Festival Director and Director of Programming for the Hawaii International Film Festival, where he was responsible for its overall management and programming.
In June 2000, Christian was appointed Director of Festivals at the American Film Institute (AFI), where he was responsible for several festival and film programming projects, including the annual AFI FEST presented by Audi. Christian developed AFI’s year-round exhibition programs of film series, mini-festivals, retrospectives and exclusive advance screenings – “AFI at ArcLight” and “Cinema’s Legacy: How Great Filmmakers Inspire Great Filmmakers.” In his first few years at AFI, Christian helped to start SILVERDOCS: AFI/Discovery Channel Documentary Festival, now called AFI Docs. In his role at AFI, Christian also spearheaded the launch of the Dallas International Film Festival.
In 2008, Christian joined IMDb.com, an Amazon.com company, where he was Director of Festival Strategy and Business Development overseeing the global expansion of Withoutabox.com, a web community and film submission platform connecting filmmakers to film festivals worldwide.
In April 2013 Christian joined ArtPrize as Executive Director. ArtPrize is a radically open, independently organized international art competition, annually attracting over 400,000 attendees and around 1,500 artists to Grand Rapids, Michigan over 19 days. $500,000 is awarded to artists through prizes that are determined equally by both public vote and expert jury. ArtPrize encourages critical discourse, celebrates artists, transforms urban space and promotes cultural understanding.
Christian has served on numerous film festival juries including Sundance, SXSW, Denver, Dallas, Montreal and Warsaw; has participated on numerous panels worldwide about film, film festivals, art and technology; has independently consulted for several film festivals and film projects; has attended many, many film festivals around the world; serves on the IFP Program Advisory Board, the Film Collaborative Advisory Board and has filed periodically for the online independent film daily Indiewire.com. He is a council member on the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.
Christian is a movie and music fanatic, has run seven marathons (and counting) and was the bass player in an LA-area rock band. He has a regular music show on community radio WYCE-FM. Christian is married to Dr. Kristen Taylor, a cognitive psychologist, writer and development specialist. They have two spectacular children Lola (21) and Luke (18) and they recently traded Los Angeles for Grand Rapids in West Michigan to play a part in its growing reputation as a hotbed for art, design, culture, innovation and urbanism.