As a storyteller, Catherine Hardwicke is drawn to emotion-driven, often edgy material. Her ability to portray the subtleties of teenage life brings realism to both her independent and commercial films.
Most recently, Hardwicke directed the film TWILIGHT, based on the best selling novels by Stephenie Meyer. Set in a teenage world ripe with obsessions and self-discovery, TWILIGHT explores the dangerous love between a teenage girl (Kristen Stewart) and a vampire (Rob Pattinson). TWILIGHT currently holds the record for the highest-grossing opening weekend ever by a female director and the soundtrack debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Hot 200. Hardwicke has also recently teamed up with Little Brown Publishing to release the “Twilight Director’s Journal” - an intimate behind-the-scenes portrait of the making of the film. It quickly reached the top of the New York Times Young Adult Non-Fiction Bestseller list, and has been translated into twelve different languages.
Hardwicke’s debut as a feature film writer/director was THIRTEEN, a graphic look at the downward spiraling lives of teens as they discover drugs, sex, and petty crime. The film starred Holly Hunter and established Evan Rachel Wood and Nikki Reed as rising young stars. Hardwicke was honored with the Director’s Award from the 2003 Sundance Film Festival and the film went on to win top awards at Deauville, Locarno, and Nantucket film festivals and land a SPIRIT AWARD for Reed, Golden Globe nominations for Hunter and Wood, and an Academy Award nomination for Hunter.
Hardwicke conceived THIRTEEN’s bold, visual style as a way of matching the intensity of a young girl’s journey, pulling from her experience as a production designer. As a production designer, she worked with critically acclaimed directors such as Cameron Crowe (on VANILLA SKY), David O. Russell (on THREE KINGS), Costa Gavras (on MAD CITY), and Richard Linklater (on SUBURBIA, THE NEWTON BOYS). She designed over twenty films, including TOMBSTONE and LAUREL CANYON.
Hardwicke’s sophomore film was Columbia’s LORDS OF DOGTOWN, starring Heath Ledger, Emile Hirsch, Victor Rasuk, and John Robinson. Dogtown chronicles the story of three boys from fractured homes in rough Venice neighborhoods who revolutionized skateboarding in the 70”s. Dogtown won the coveted High Times “ Stoner Movie of the Year” award.
THE NATIVITY STORY, filmed in Italy and Morocco, marked Hardwicke’s third directorial endeavor. This period epic depicts Mary, (WHALE RIDER’s Keisha Castle-Hughes) as a 14-yr-old Jewish peasant girl, living under the oppressive rule of Rome’s client-king Herod (Cieran Hinds). Nativity was the first feature film to premiere at the Vatican, playing to an audience of 7000 nuns, priests, and non-subscribers to High Times magazine.
Catherine is currently developing a contemporary adaptation of Shakespeare’s HAMLET. Emile Hirsch (Lords of Dogtown, Milk, Into the Wild) is set to star in the title role, with Dan Jinks and Bruce Cohen (Milk, American Beauty) producing. Screenwriter Ron Nyswaner (Philadelphia, The Painted Veil) has transformed Shakespeare’s text into an intense psychological thriller, giving the classic play a dark, modern twist.
A native of the South Texas border town of McAllen, Hardwicke studied art in Mexico and received a degree in Architecture from the University of Texas at Austin. She designed and constructed a 20-acre passive solar townhouse complex in Texas, then enrolled in UCLA’s Graduate Film School, where she completed her first animated/live action short. It won her a Nissan Focus Award and toured in the Landmark “Best of UCLA” film program.
AWARDS & NOMINATIONS
-Academy Awards (2004)
-Nomination for Holly Hunter – Best Actress in a Supporting Role
-Golden Globe Awards (2004)
-Nomination for Holly Hunter – Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
-Nomination for Evan Rachel Wood – Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
-National Board of Review, USA (2003)
-Won Special Recognition for Excellence in Filmmaking
-Sundance Film Festival (2003)
-Won Directing Award (Dramatic) for “Thirteen”
-Locarno International Film Festival (2003)
-Won Silver Leopard (Best First or Second Feature Film) for “Thirteen”
-Deauville Film Festival (2003)
-Won Jury Special Prize for “Thirteen”
-Independent Spirit Awards (2004)
-Won Best Debut Performance – Nikki Reed
-Nominated for Best First Screenplay
-Nominated for Best First Feature
-Nantucket Film Festival (2003)
-Won Screenwriting Award (Best Feature Screenplay) for “Thirteen” – Shared with Nikki Reed
-Bratislava International Film Festival (2003)
-Nominated for Grand Prix for “Thirteen”
-Washington DC Area Film Critics Association Awards (2003)
-Nominated for WAFCA Award – Best Original Screenplay for “Thirteen” (Shared with Nikki Reed)
-Director’s View Film Festival (2004)
-Won Dorothy Arzner Prize for “Thirteen”
-BAFTA Awards (2004)
-Nominated for Holly Hunter – Best Performance by Actress in a Supporting Role
-Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards (2004)
-Nomination for Holly Hunter for Critics Choice Award – Best Supporting Actress
-Nominations for Evan Rachel Wood for Critics Choice Award – Best Young Actor/Actress
-Chicago Film Critics Association Awards (2004)
-Nomination for Holly Hunter for CFCA Award – Best Supporting Actress
-Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards (2004)
-Nominated for PFCS Award – Best Original Screenplay “Thirteen” (Shared with Nikki Reed)
-Las Vegas Film Critics Society Awards (2004)
-Won Sierra Award – Best Supporting Actress (Holly Hunter)
-Won Sierra Award – Youth in Film (Evan Rachel Wood)
-London Critics Circle Film Awards (2004)
-Nomination for Holly Hunter for ALFS Award – Actress of the Year
-Won Prism Award for Performance in Theatrical Feature Film (Evan Rachel Wood)
-Nomination for Prism Award for Best Theatrical Feature Film
-Screen Actors Guild Awards (2004)
-Nomination for Holly Hunter – Outstanding Performance for a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
-Nomination for Evan Rachel Wood – Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role.
-MTV Movie Awards (2004)
-Nomination for Evan Rachel Wood for MTV Movie Award – Breakthrough Female Performance
-Satellite Awards (2004)
-Nominated for Golden Satellite Award – Best Director for “Thirteen”
-Nominated for Golden Satellite Award – Best Original Screenplay for “Thirteen” (Shared with Nikki Reed)
-MovieGuide Awards (2007)
-Won Epiphany Prize for “The Nativity Story”
-Heartland Film Festival (2007)
-Won Truly Moving Sound Award – Truly Moving Picture
-Young Artist Awards (2007)
-Nomination for Keisha Castle-Hughes for Best Performance in a Feature Film – Leading Young Actress
-Other Venice Film Festival (2008)
-Won Maverick Abbot Award
-Elle Magazine Icon Award (2008)
-Texas Film Hall of Fame Awards (2009)
-Honored with Ann Richards Award
-MTV Movie Awards (2009)
-Won 6 Awards including Best Picture, Best Nominated for 7.
Young Hollywood Awards (2009)
-Honored with Young Hollywood “Dream Director” Award
-Women in Film Society (2009)
-Honored with “Dorothy Arzner Director’s Award”