Audrey Marrs to Speak at Evergreen January 29

January 12, 2015

The Willi Unsoeld Seminar Series, a program of The Evergreen State College, welcomes Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Audrey Marrs to Olympia on Thursday, January 29. Marrs will spend two days working with Evergreen students and faculty and will give a free, public presentation at the Evergreen Longhouse on Thursday, January 29 at 7pm.
Marrs, a 1999 graduate of Evergreen, is famous for the film Inside Job, a 2010 expose of the 2008 global financial meltdown, which she produced in partnership with Charles Ferguson. Her first film, No End In Sight, also produced with Ferguson, hones in on the Iraq war and decisions made by the Bush Administration, which have led to the current and seemingly endless conflict. Both films have garnered awards and accolades, including prizes at the Cannes and Sundance Film Festivals. Inside Job won the 2011 Oscar for Best Documentary Film. She is currently producing a film with a worldwide scope, about climate change. She will show a three minute clip from that film during her January 29 presentation.
Though she left Olympia in the 1990s for California, Marrs is looking forward to revisiting her alma mater. “I’m excited to know what is going on at Evergreen,” she said, “and to meet people who are so young and interested.
In the 1990s, Marrs played a significant role in Olympia’s music scene with bands such as Mocket and Bratmobile and worked at The Olympian and Rainy Day Records, but she credits Evergreen with giving her permission to be herself. “I had a lot of freedom there to figure out what I wanted to do. And I don’t really know how to do anything but that,” she admitted.
As an example, Marrs was working as an independent curator of gallery exhibitions in San Francisco, but she changed career paths in 24 hours to produce No End In Sight. “If I had come from a different perspective, I (might) have been more attached to the past. But I was ready to let that go in a moment; there was no hesitation.”
Evergreen’s Vice President for Academic Affairs, Michael Zimmerman, who oversees the Willi Unsoeld Seminar Series, is thrilled to bring Marrs back to campus. “Audrey is a creative force, a passionate advocate and a true Evergreen success story. Since she has strong roots in Olympia this is a wonderful opportunity for the college and the community to welcome back one of our own.”
Willi Unsoeld is a household name among mountaineers, famed for his first ascent of Mt. Everest’s West Ridge in 1963. But Unsoeld had a deep intellectual life beyond the sport of climbing. As a philosopher and founding faculty member at The Evergreen State College, Unsoeld embodied the interdisciplinary spirit of the institution. After his death in 1979, a legacy was created in his name for an annual seminar series at Evergreen. Marrs joins a long line of past speakers who have included Jim Hightower, Yevgeny Yevtushenko, Terry Tempest Williams and Unsoeld’s climbing partner, Tom Hornbein.
To schedule a press interview with Audrey Marrs by phone in advance of her talk, please call or email Meryl Lipman (below).