Cynthia Hargrave, Producer of ‘Bottle Rocket,’ Dies at 64

Screenwriter and award-winning producer Cynthia Hargrave, who helped launch the careers of Wes Anderson and Owen Wilson, has died due to complications from systemic scleroderma. She was 64.

With Anderson’s 1993 debut “Bottle Rocket,” Hargrave was the first producer to turn a Sundance Film Festival short into a Hollywood studio feature. Hargrave was a producer on the original short as well as the subsequent 1996 feature film of the same name, which stars Owen and Luke Wilson and has become an indie classic.

Hargrave was married to the late L.M. Kit Carson, who also produced and acted in “Bullfighter” and “Hurricane Streets.” She helped lift her husband’s projects off the ground and served as a mentor for cinematographer Enrique Chediak, composer Jan Kaczmark and a long list of below-the-line professionals.

Hargrave also produced Morgan J. Freeman’s debut feature “Hurricane Streets,” which was the first film to win three awards at Sundance, as well as Michael Rymer’s “Perfume” — starring Jeff Goldblum and Rita Wilson — and Rune Bendixen’s “Bullfighter” — featuring Willem Dafoe, Olivier Martinez, Michelle Forbes and Jared Harris.

She also frequently produced short films to help boost the careers of promising young talent, and in 2003, Hargrave took time off to teach production and screenwriting at New York City’s Columbia University School of the Arts.

In 2010, Hargrave produced the docuseries “Africa Diary,” the first broadcast-quality program shot on a cell phone. A year later, she co-founded the experimental New Media Story-Finders Workshops, which aimed to develop a new audiovisual language based on burgeoning technology.

Hargrave is survived by her companion of six years, Eddy Burnett. Memorials will be held on Aug. 8 in Los Angeles and in early September in New York City.


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