What’s Up Down Under? Cate Shortland Scores Marvel’s BLACK WIDOW — Alexandra Heller-Nicholas reports

cate shortland head 1After a distinct spike in the rumor-mill in mid-June regarding the likelihood of Australian director Cate Shortland directing the much-anticipated Marvel Black Widow stand-alone film, a month later the news was confirmed. Shortland’s previous features Somersault (2004), Lore (2012), and Berlin Syndrome (2017) all center on strong women characters, and despite their low production values when compared to the usual superhero blockbuster fare, Shortland’s ability to craft sophisticated yet accessible women characters was no doubt a key factor in her attaining the job. Shortland won the high-profile Black Widow job over some impressive competition, including British filmmaker Amma Asante of 2016′s acclaimed A United Kingdom, and Maggie Betts, whose 2017 debut feature Novitiate was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance. Continue reading…

read more

SPOTLIGHT May 2018: Jessica Thompson, Indie Filmmaker, THE LIGHT OF THE MOON

jessica thompson head 1When filmmaker Jessica Thompson won the Audience Award at 2017’s SXSW for her engaging, gritty debut drama The Light of the Moon, she wasn’t exactly expecting it. “I didn’t think it was funny enough,” the Sydney native said of the film, a New York set story that doesn’t tread easy territory, following a talented architect named Bonnie (Stephanie Beatriz in a gutsy and under-sung performance) as she grapples with the aftermath of a brutal rape. While the subject matter is dark, Thompson’s critically acclaimed film approaches it with subtlety and humor. Continue reading…

read more