Starting at Content Film in 2006, Cate worked across different sectors of the international film division, from box office reporting to managing cinema requests for specialty titles and crucially, providing script coverage for the acquisitions department.
After three years, she moved to BBC Films to work for Managing Director, Jane Wright. As well as assisting on commercial issues, she also worked on the films that were under Jane’s remit as Executive Producer such as WEST IS WEST, provided development assistance and handled submissions.
Following a department restructure, Cate moved to the Casarotto Ramsay talent agency to work for Jenne Casarotto whose clients include Steve McQueen, Stephen Frears, Terry Gilliam and Tony Grisoni. Cate managed the day-to-day requirements of Jenne’s clients, including creating and maintaining booking notices and payments, disseminating contracts, managing submissions and more.
In July 2011, Cate moved to Artificial Eye to develop her career in acquisitions for a distributor whose tastes match her own – arthouse, independent and foreign language cinema. In the past five years, she has worked across the acquisitions of films such as LOVE & FRIENDSHIP, THE GREAT BEAUTY, STILL ALICE, 45 YEARS and ANOMALISA. As well as acquiring completed films and projects at script level, the role also encompasses development and production and Cate has been the development exec on films such as Roger Michel’s LE WEEKEND as well as upcoming productions such as MAY WE BE FORGIVEN.
What attracted you to Inside Pictures as a programme? What’s your impression so far?
Where else can you improve your everyday workplace skills, learn new ones and have a complete insight into the film value chain whilst tapping into a valuable network? Inside Pictures’ reputation is second-to-none in the industry and I felt that the only way you can improve your career is to learn as much as possible – the more you know, the better. I’ve been shown parts of the film world that I knew very little about as well as developing my confidence in the parts I do know. I’ve also been paired with the best mentor in Camilla Bray from Sixteen Films.
Curzon Artificial Eye is a distributor with very strong branding. What does it take to make the Curzon cut?
We’re director-led, first and foremost. Having recently celebrated our 40th anniversary, we’re proud of our reputation and the directors on our books are both established (e.g. the Dardennes Brothers) and rising fast (e.g. Ruben Ostlund). As a result, we’re incredibly choosy as to what we can take on, we put a lot of care into each release. I’m looking for strong stories from exceptional filmmakers that will reach an audience who trusts our brand. We love to find new discoveries, films like SON OF SAUL or VICTORIA where we can help put a new director on the map.
How will UK’s departure from the European Union and thus the expected loss of distribution support affect Curzon’s acquisitions strategy?
Well we’re very hopeful that the UK government will find a way for our relationship with MEDIA to continue in some form. European films are at the heart of what we do at Curzon and without EU support to really showcase these films, it’s going to be much tougher so we have to remain hopeful there’s a way.
What are you working on at the moment?
It’s a bit cloak-and-dagger in my department so I can’t tell you what we’re trying to buy but I can tell you what we’ve acquired that we’re excited about. We’ve got a mixture of films for the next 12 months, from a romantic comedy set in ultra-Orthodox Tel Aviv (THROUGH THE WALL) to Park Chan Wook’s take on The Fingersmith novel, THE HANDMAIDEN. Shia LeBeouf is in Janus Metz’s BORG/MCENROE (you can guess who he plays) and we’ve pre-bought upcoming titles from Andrew Haigh, Michael Haneke, Lars von Trier and Cate Shortland.