screenwriter to watch
Kate Nowlin holds an MFA from the Yale School of Drama and a BFA from Southern Methodist University. Primarily a professional actress for the past 15 years, Kate has recently branched out as a writer/producer, forming the Minneapolis based production company, Wakemup Productions. Her most recent work as a writer was on her first narrative feature: BLOOD STRIPE, which won the Jury Award for US fiction at the Los Angeles Film Fest 2016, as well as multiple audience awards at subsequent festivals, including the Austin Film Fest. Kate was awarded a breakout performance award for her work in the film.
Kate holds numerous film, television and theatre credits as an actress and was nominated for a Helen Hayes Award in Washington DC; as well as being the recipient of the Herschel Williams Acting Prize at Yale and the Greer Garson Acting Award at SMU. Upcoming, Kate is co-writing and co-producing the independent limited series: Lemon Shark.
Credits: As a writer: Lemon Shark, Blood Stripe, The Boogie Down
How did you break in or get your start in screenwriting?
In 2007, I was the victim of a violent attack, and was introduced to the world of criminal defense in New York City. I had a friend who worked as a public defender in the Bronx who helped me navigate my way through my case. After that experience, I felt compelled to write a story representing the other side of the story. I needed to understand the other side–the side of the perpetrator–in order to get perspective and move forward. That became the script for The Boogie Down, the first thing I ever co-wrote, with my husband and public defender friend.
What are some of the biggest lessons you’ve learned?
Don’t wait. What doesn’t come, wasn’t meant for you. Even if you don’t know how to do it, try. Give yourself the job you’ve always wanted. There aren’t enough stories about fully dimensional people out there, so write ’em. Abandon perfection–you’ll get a lot more done.
What’s the hardest scene or project you’ve ever had to write? How did you navigate the challenge?
I think log lines are hard to write. Encapsulating what an entire thing is about in one or two sentences is deceptively difficult.
What was a major turning point in your career?
It’s still turning…probably writing, producing and starring in Blood Stripe. Giving myself permission to explore my full creative potential as a writer, producer and actor.
What are you working on right now?
I am playing Goneril in King Lear at The Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis while co-writing and co-producing a limited TV Series that I’ll be shooting in Minneapolis in 2017.
What are some of your favorite movies?
The Deer Hunter, Sophie’s Choice, Singin’ In The Rain, You Can Count On Me, Million Dollar Baby, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Wings of Desire, Xanadu
Who are some of your favorite screenwriters?
Kenneth Lonergan, Jim Jarmusch, Paul Haggis, Miranda July, Diablo Cody, Nora Ephron
Share a memorable experience at Austin Film Festival:
The talk backs after screening Blood Stripe were terrific. And I loved running into Nancy Meyers in the bathroom and telling her what a big fan I was of her work.