Whit Stillman wowed the American cinematic community as an indie auteur wunderkind in the early 1990s, known for his penchant for witty, semi-autobiographical examinations of America's privileged strata in a trilogy of films that would earn him the much-bandied sobriquet "the WASP Woody Allen. " A product of New York society, Stillman spent his early youth in publishing and abroad before taking over an agency for illustrators, working on the side on a script for and financing "Metropolitan" (1990). The slice of debutante haute couture earned him indie darling status and real financing for his follow-up films, "Barcelona" (1994) and "The Last Days of Disco" (1998), each an ensemble piece reflecting different periods of his youth in comic kaleidoscope of social byplay. He moved to Europe at the end of the 1990s and spent the ensuing decade attempting to produce films. Little came of it, however, until his return to the United States and to his low-budget, no-star roots, bringing his comedy-of-manners oeuvre to a college campus with "Damsels in Distress" (2011). In spite of his short CV, Stillman would make himself much beloved in indie circles, creator of what The New York Times summarized as "odd, tender, uncategorizable films that must utterly confound the market researchers whose opinions shape Hollywood. Good."