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Entries in Cate Shortland (2)



Cate Shortland has been welcomed into the studio franchise fold with trade paper The Hollywood Reporter breaking the news that the Australian director will helm Black Widow.

The stand-alone adventure of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s heroine assassin will see Scarlett Johansson reprise the role of ex-Russian agent Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow. To date, she has featured as a supporting player in six MCU films.

Hailing from the New South wales country town of Temora, Shortland’s path to the mega-budget tentpole arena comes via the arthouse sector. A graduate of the prestigious Australian Film Television and Radio School, she helmed a series of well-received shorts (Pentuphouse, 1998; Flowergirl, 1999; Joy, 2000) and episodic television before her 2004 feature debut, Somersault.

A frank coming-of-age drama, Somersault launched the careers of stars Abbie Cornish and Sam Worthington during a festival run that yielded 14 Australian Film Institute awards and earning Shortland an Un Certain Regard nomination at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival. She followed its success with the German/Australian co-production Lore (2012) and the Teresa Palmer hostage drama, The Berlin Syndrome (2017).

A Black Widow film has been whispered about within the Marvel Films empire for several years. In 2014, MCU overseer Kevin Feige said the project was being developed, a position he restated in 2016. The attachment of rookie scribe Jac Schaeffer (TiMER, 2009; Olaf’s Frozen Adventure, 2017; The Shower, due 2019; pictured, right) in January has fast-tracked the project.

Shortland was only confirmed for the directing job after Marvel had allegedly met with dozens of directors, including Deniz Gamze Erguven (Mustang, 2015), Chloe Zhao (The Rider, 2017), Amma Asante (Belle, 2013; A United Kingdom, 2016) Maggie Betts (Novitiate, 2017), Melanie Laurent (Galveston, 2018) and Angela Robinson (Professor Marston and the Wonder Women, 2017).

When released, Black Widow will become the second MCU production to be directed by a woman. Captain Marvel, starring Brie Larsen and due March 8 2019, has Anna Boden behind the camera, co-directing with Ryan Fleck.

Read the 2012 SCREEN-SPACE Interview with Cate Shortland discussing the release of LORE.  



Hosted with a ‘fun-uncle’ vibe by the organisation’s president Rod Quinn at  Sydney’s Paddington RSL Club, the 2013 Film Critics Circle of Australia (FCCA) honours were split amongst Kieran Darcy-Smith’s Wish You Were Here, Cate Shortland’s Lore, Wayne Blair’s The Sapphires and Peter Templeman’s Not Suitable for Children.

Blue Tongue Film’s Wish You Were Here (pictured, above; cast members Antony Starr, Joel Edgerton, Felicity Price and Teresa Palmer), a drama chronicling the ill-fated adventures of a group of young holidaying eastern suburb well-to-do types, scored Best Picture honours for producer Angie Fielder, a Best Actor trophy for Joel Edgerton and FCCA kudos for Best Screenplay and Best Editing.  With much of the cast and crew absent, it was left to Fielder to accept all but Jason Ballantine’s cutting nod.

Mirroring the recent Oscar moment, the Best Supporting Actor gong was shared between the film’s Antony Starr and Not Suitable For Children’s Ryan Corr. The charismatic Corr got the night’s biggest laugh when he suggested that, in response to the AACTA awards being called ‘The AACTA’, the FCCA trophy should adopt its own acronymic moniker (just try it…).

Cate Shortland’s long-in-development follow-up to Somersault, the German-set World War 2 drama Lore, took home the coveted Best Director gong, as well as Best Performance by a Young Actor for lead Saskia Rosendahl (pictured, left).


Box-office winner The Sapphires nabbed Best Cinematography for Warwick Thornton and Best Music Score for Cezary Skubiszewski. In addition to Corr’s win, co-star Sarah Snook surprised many when she snared a Best Actress nod for Not Suitable for Children ahead of The Sapphires Deborah Mailman and Wish You Were Here’s Felicity Price.

Adding to the left-field choices was Rebecca Gibney’s Supporting Actress win for PJ Hogan’s critically-divisive dramedy, Mental. Gibney seemed genuinely moved by the recognition and proved to be a good sport when asked, at the last moment, to present the Best Documentary honour, won by Ian Darling’s Paul Kelly: Stories of Me.

Other presenters included entertainer Paul Capsis (“I was asked to do this, like, five minutes ago”), actor/director Jeremy Sims, actor Steve Le Marquand and sponsor Foxtel executive James Bridges.