Cate Shortland has a BA in Fine Arts from Sydney University (1991) and a Graduate Diploma in Directing from the Australian Film Television and Radio School (2000).
She wrote and directed short films, PENTUPHOUSE (Dendy Award, Sydney Film Festival 1999), FLOWERGIRL (Dendy Award, Sydney Film Festival 2000, Oberhausen 16mm Best Film) and JOY (Best Film, Melbourne International Film Festival 2000).
Cate wrote and directed her first feature SOMERSAULT which premiered at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival in Un Certain Regard. The film won many awards including: 13 Australian Film Institute Awards including Best Director, Best Director & Best Original Screenplay; 6 IF Awards including Best Film, Best Direction & Best Script; Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Best Script; 5 Film Critics’ Circle Awards including Best Film & Best Director; Winner Best Feature at the Edinburgh Film Festival; Special Jury Breakthrough Award, Director at the Miami Film Festival and Best Screenplay, Festival International du Film d’Amour de Mons. The film was released in over 15 countries.
Cate co-write and directed her second feature, LORE, based on the book THE DARK ROOM by Rachel Seiffert, which premiered In Competition at the Sydney Film Festival in 2012 and has won many awards including the Audience Award at the Locarno Film Festival, the Golden Starfish Narrative Feature Award, the Jeremy Nussbaum Prize for Provocative Fiction Hamburg Film Critics Award at Filmfest, Pilar Miro Best New Director Award at the Seminci Valladolid Film Festival, Dragon Audience Award at the Ljubljana International Film Festival, Best Film at the Hesse Filmforderung in Frankfurt, the Aurora Prize at the Tromsø International Film Festival in Norway, Best Film In Competition at the Titanic International Film Festival in Budapest, Bronze Award Deutshcher Filmpresis 2013, Best Director First Tiantan Award Beijing International Film Festival and Best Direction in a Feature Film, ADG Awards 2013.
Cate’s third feature BERLIN SYNDROME, based on the book by Melanie Joosten, premiered at Sundance Film Festival in 2017, screening In Competition. The film went on to screen at numerous film festivals including a special Panorama Presentation at Berlin International Film Festival.
In 2021 Marvel Studios released BLACK WIDOW, directed by Cate, starring Scarlett Johansson, Florence Pugh, David Harbour and Rachel Weisz.
Cate has directed a number of television series including set up director and multiple episodes of THE SECRET LIFE OF US, the 2 x 1 hour miniseries THE SILENCE and more recently THREE WOMEN for Showtime.
Cate’s television writing includes ROSIE adapted from a chapter in Christos Tsiolkas’ novel THE SLAP (the miniseries was nominated for a BAFTA and Emmy Award and won an AWGIE Award for Best Miniseries), miniseries THE DEVIL’S PLAYGROUND and DEADLINE GALLIPOLI, Foxtel, all for Matchbox Pictures and miniseries THE KETTERING INCIDENT for Porchlight Films, Foxtel and BBC Worldwide. Cate’s DEADLINE GALLIPOLI script, THE LETTER, won the Betty Roland Prize for Scriptwriting at the NSW Premiers Literary Awards, 2016.