“Somersault” Director Cate Shortland Has a Miniseries in the Works

Cate Shortland: sydfilmfest/ YouTube

Australian filmmaker Cate Shortland is returning to the small screen. The “Somersault” and “Lore” director is working on an eight-part miniseries for Matchbox Pictures, The Playlist reports. Her previous TV credits include episodes of “The Secret Life of Us,” “Bad Cop, Bad Cop,” and the TV movie “The Silence.” Now she’ll take on “The Monaro.”

Set in the 1830s and based on a true crime case, the miniseries will center on six women. Shortland will shoot in Monaro, a region in the south of New South Wales, Australia that served as the location for 2004’s “Somersault,” her debut feature. “It’s one of my favorite places in the world to shoot so I wanted to do something again there,” she told IF. The idea for the miniseries has been gestating for quite some time: Shortland first conceived the story in film school. The project is expected to begin filming this winter in Australia, or summer in the U.S.

Shortland is working on the script for “The Monaro” with a team of writers.

“Berlin Syndrome,” Shortland’s latest film, made its world premiere at Sundance this year. The thriller stars Teresa Palmer (“Lights Out”) as an Australian photojournalist traveling in Berlin. Her intense romance with a local man (Max Riemelt, “Sense8”) turns into a nightmare when she realizes that he’s holding her captive. The film will open in theaters and stream on Netflix sometime this year.

When we asked Shortland her advice for other women directors, she said, “I think that what was the best thing for me was that I never considered myself different. I just worked in the same way and I fought for my films. I didn’t have to fight to be a female filmmaker; I just had to fight to make my films,” she explained. “But I think I come from a country where I’m very fortunate. I don’t think if you are from the Middle East or some parts of Europe, maybe even North America, you have that same opportunity. I think also working with other women helps. When women get together and support each other that really helps because that has been the history of our industry in Australia.”

Australia recently unveiled two new initiatives to support female filmmakers: Screen Australia introduced Doco180 for documentary filmmakers, and the National Film Board is pushing for more women in creatives roles in film.

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