Cate has been selected as 1 of 9 women directors in the "Next Level: Feature Directors" 2022 Initiative. Read about their first year here in VARIETY.

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Work

 I strive to create works that marry thrilling and often genre-blending stories with bold and atmospheric visuals. I’m a former civilian detective and military intelligence specialist who adventured around Europe during operations Iraqi and Enduring freedom, and my experiences with everyone from villains to heroes really furthered my passion for storytelling as a director and writer - primarily of suspense thrillers and blockbusters with iconic characters.

The Plumber

My latest film, "The Plumber", started a 2021 festival run with a grand jury win at the Blackmagic Collective Film Festival. It has since won several best of fest/director awards, has screened at 4 Oscar-qualifying fests, and earned me the Marlyn Mason Award for new voices at Rhode Island Int'l Film Festival. theplumberfilm.com

An adventure suspense short, inspired by true events surrounding Irena Sendler and her network: "As curfew approaches, an everyday heroine risks it all in a smuggling operation from Nazi-occupied Poland."

 

More updates on socials: #ThePlumber

Other Works
A few of my favorite films: Jurassic Park, Apollo 13, Back to the Future, Braveheart, Home Alone, Argo, Ghostbusters, Lethal Weapon, Toy Story
Of Mine

Premiered at Disney Studios in 2018

The Alliance of Women Directors (AWD) teamed with the LA producers of the NPR program, "The Moth" for the Short Film Program Series, where you see the evolution of a story to screenplay to film. Six female directors were awarded a $1k grant from a competitive pool and given true stories to tell within a one month timeframe from script to screen. 

Two young Latina sisters are kidnapped by a transient bible-belt duo, and taken to an abandoned mineshaft where they must escape before they are lost forever. 

Runtime: 17 mins

distributed by Oxford Film

 
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Projects

&

News

ATOLL

I am currently developing several features at various budget ranges. Atoll is a contained suspense 

sci-fi thriller inspired by real events. 

Logline: In the nuclear summer of ’54 when an ill-fated H-Bomb test traps the firing party in their bunker, they learn other forces could be working against their fight for survival - and may even have infiltrated their group. 

EMERY

Grounded Sci-fi, suspense feature

Logline: When mysterious events in their sleepy town bring an estranged niece, her uncle, and a small creature together, they must reunite it with its family before the thieves who awakened it close in. 

 

Received a "recommend" from Blackmagic Collective and has been requested by several studios. 

Charlotte
Sometimes

My script for "Charlotte Sometimes", a holiday adventure dramedy, made the semi-finals for the 2019 HCF screenplay competition.

 

Charlotte Sometimes previously won the Festival for Family Screenplay Competition, was a TOP 10 Finalist in the Final Draft Big Break contest, and a Gold Winner in the Hollywood Screenplay contest, among others. 

 

              about

What I'm all

I am only who I am because of the challenges I have faced and overcome, and it has made me richer for it. And while it's true that I am a storyteller, a wife, a veteran, a daughter, a sister, and adventurer, I am above all a person - a person who has never been afraid of being ambitious or vulnerable. Directing isn't just about "directing"; it's about the experiences you bring to the room. ​I know the value of things that can make or break a film - the value of finding the right people to make the project shine, the value in preparation, the value of utilizing my acting past to communicate with actors, and the value in aiming high enough to be bold and innovative with my vision without overextending.

I have a keen sense for visual style and an ability to draw strong performances from actors. And as a detective and military intelligence globetrotter turned writer/director, it is my way of looking at the world and the people in it that gives me an extra flavor. I approach each project with a love of movement, color, and composition, accompanied by my vivid imagination, and I like to highlight the fantastical we have inside of us. Over the past few years, I've been fortunate enough to work with more experienced collaborators, and direct sizable sets with increasingly complicated action and set pieces in the short form, and am eager to move into the feature realm. 

I hope to be able to give back to others emerging after me, am a fierce advocate of inclusivity, and actively volunteer with the organizations I am involved with. Above all, people matter most, and we could all use a little more love in the world. 


 

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A few of my favorite directors: Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard, Kari Skogland, James Mangold, Jon Favreau, Chris Columbus, Taika Waititi

Cate is a former detective and military intelligence globetrotter turned writer/director with award-winning feature screenplays and short films, including the national wildcard-winning Lionsgate/WIF short “Masque,” which also earned her a directing award at the Crystal & Lucy’s and had over 3 million views. As a director selectee for the Alliance of Women Directors Short Film Program grant, “Of Mine” premiered at Disney Studios in 2018 and she was previously a finalist for HBO's Project Greenlight. 

 

Her latest film, “The Plumber” is a several best of fest and best director winner, has screened at four Oscar-qualifying festivals so far, and is a winner in the 6th annual Stage 32 short film contest. In 2021, she was fortunate enough to be selected as 1 of 9 fellows in the “Future Directors of Studio Features Initiative” by Blackmagic Collective and has been selected to move forward in the Next Level : Feature Directors initiative for 2022. 


Prior to a return to film in 2012, she served ten years as a decorated military police officer and instructor, and transitioned to Intelligence during Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom while adventuring through Europe. Later, as a victims advocate and civilian detective, this "spectrum of humanity” experience lent to a unique perspective on human connection. It also shaped her focus in narrative adventure and suspense stories about unconventional characters in extraordinary circumstances, with bold accompanying visuals. 

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A little about my production company:

Sensorium Pictures is an award-winning production company that has previously worked with companies like Lionsgate and HBO, and has premiered films at festivals and Disney Animation Studios. Sensorium Pictures was founded in 2013 to deliver powerful, emotionally compelling and visually bold adventure, suspense, and sci-fi films and television series. Typically our stories involve unconventional, diverse characters in remarkable circumstances.

 
Reach Out
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Thanks for submitting!

or contact directly: ccarson@sensoriumpictures.com 
(*please note, I cannot accept unsolicited material)