Jen Gatien was born in the town of Cornwall—the hub of the Mohawk reservation in Canada. She graduated from Columbia University with a degree in Film and Anthropology in 1997. During her senior year, she interned at October Films to learn the world of independent film under the co-president John Schmidt.
Immediately following graduation, Jen began her career as a producer with a project that documented the lives of club kids called 'Shampoo Horns' which premiered at Berlin Film Festival.
In 2000, she has teamed up with Akiva Goldman's production shingle, Weed Road Pictures, to develop a film about Rudy Guiliani's campaign to clean up New York leading to the “Disneyesque” re-development of the once gritty Times Square.
Jen then went onto become the American producer of the global project '1 Giant Leap' which includes collaborations with Bono, Susan Sarandon, Dennis Hopper, Courtney Love, Michael Stipe among others. The project represents a unique combination of music and documentary film.
In her constant search for compelling material, Jen discovered 'Hounddog.' The script had been without financing for more than ten years. Jen raised the funding for the film through her company, Deerjen in 2006 and began filming in North Carolina with leading actresses Dakota Fanning and Robin Wright Penn. The film premiered in official competition in 2007 at the Sundance Film Festival and opened nationwide in September 2008.
As a longtime resident of the Chelsea Hotel, Jen faced being forced out of this renowned artists’ sanctuary by the new management in 2007, so recruited one time resident Abel Ferrara to direct. Using archival footage, interviews and re-enactments, the film premiered as official selection at the Cannes Film Festival 2008. The film stars Ethan Hawke, Dennis Hopper, Adam Goldberg, R Crumb, Bijou Phillips, Grace Jones and Milos Forman. It is slated for a US release in March 2009.
DeerJen is a film production company based in New York that is committed to producing challenging, independent films and television projects that give otherwise silenced voices a chance to be heard. Jen is currently collaborating with AM Homes on adapting one of her acclaimed novels. She has started post-production on a documentary, ‘Evolution of a Criminal’ with Spike Lee as EP set to premiere in spring 2009. She is currently editing ‘Holy Rollers’ starring Justin Bartha, Jesse Eisenberg and Q-Tip slated for a release in 2010. This summer, Jen is working with Rakontur on a feature documentary to be completed by the end of the year.
Jen is on the board of Lincoln Center’s Friends of Film as well as the Alumni Committee of the Trinity School in NYC and a member of the National Arts Club. Jen served on the jury of the Oldenberg Film Festival 2008. She is represented by the William Morris Agency.