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Cath Le Couteur – One To Watch

Cath Le Couteur is a writer/director. In January 2010 she was awarded the Sundance Alfred P Sloan Commissioning Grant to develop ensemble feature Bed. She is also a co-founder of Shooting People and a recent Rockefeller and MacDowell fellow.

What training have you received?
I was accepted into the NFTS as a director, which included script development, and I did very helpful writer courses with The Script Factory. I’d say reading scripts was my training bootcamp. I have no idea why it took me so long to start reading scripts of the films I loved. I wish I’d started sooner. I’d also say that peer-to-peer feedback has long been what I would consider a training necessity. Maybe it’s also the generosity that writers have for each others’ work that makes this so valuable. And I don’t mean writers ‘being nice’ to each other, I mean writers taking the time to think about where the good stuff is, where the bad stuff is and what really needs to be asked of a script in order for it to progress. I had pretty wonderful experiences of this recently via the Midnight Screenwriters competition in NY, and at the MacDowell Colony artists residency.

What themes do you like to explore in your work?
The unreliability of identity, secrets and lies, the end of human space exploration

What’s the best advice you’ve been given as a writer?
Always have more than one project on the go. I love this. It’s true. I also find it hard.

Tell us the most significant moment in your career so far
I recently got a development award which made me very happy because it has meant funds for doing research and working with a co-writer. But I’d say directing the written work has always felt the most significant. I have a lot of vapourware in my drawers that hasn’t been made. Getting the words out the door and made tangible means a lot.

You’ll die happy when…
No-one dies happy do they? Uh, OK, I guess Charlotte from Charlotte’s Web ALMOST does – saving Wilbur’s bacon and SINGING right up until the end. It’s still sad though. I’ll die (almost) happy, I guess, if I get the feature I’m currently writing into production.

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