THE UNSOLVED MURDER OF BEVERLY LYNN SMITH (2022)
Creator, Showrunner, Executive Producer
(Muse Entertainment/Prime Video)
For over 6 years Catherine investigated the unsolved 1974 murder of 22 year old Beverly Smith at the request of two people – her daughter Rebecca, who was just 10 months old and in the room at the time she was shot, and the neighbour Alan Smith (no relation) who helped on the scene that night but 33 years later was accused of the terrible crime. The results of the tragic murder, cold case, an elaborate and controversial undercover police operation, the media coverage and the trial, destroyed their sense of justice. She developed the story into a series and eventually sold the concept to Muse Entertainment and Amazon Prime Video. In the spring of 2021 she oversaw production and the team who came on to help bring this tragic true story and her vision to life. This series is Amazon Prime Video's first Canadian factual series commission for world-wide distribution. It launched at the prestigious HOT DOCS documentary festival in 2022.
Hot Docs film festival
ESI EDUGYAN: OUT OF THE SUN (2022)
Executive Producer, Original Video
(CBC News Studios)
Catherine adapted award-winning author Esi Edugyan's 2021 CBC Massey Lectures/book OUT OF THE SUN into a 1 hour streaming/TV special and led the creative team bringing it to life. This visually stunning and innovative documentary brings Edugyan to the stage of the Royal Theatre in Victoria, BC where massive projections and an evocative audioscape, combined with her brilliant personal and historical journey across nations and centuries to examine the representation of Black people in art and storytelling.
HOW TO START A REVOLUTION (2021)
Catherine created CBC's first podcast-to-video adaptation, the CSA award-winning documentary series, HOW TO START A REVOLUTION (2021). The stylish and urgent series tracks the rise and fall of the FLQ in Quebec and its connections to revolutionary movements around the world in the late 1960's, including the Black Panthers. She was honoured to work with the CBC's world famous podcast teams to collaborate on the adaptation; a groundbreaking series made at the height of the pandemic, without filming a single frame of new material. The editorial and creative team uncovered thousands of hours of CBC archive material collected from over 60 years of news reportage and expertly stitched together a heart-pounding narrative as if it's unfolding. Combined with artful illustrations and 70's rock and psychedelic music, they amplified the stories of people who were there and caught up in a moment where cultural aspiration exploded into political desperation, and terror.
BIG NEWS (2021)
Catherine created, developed and led a team to produce this pilot for an explainer series about how the biggest, most powerful industries on earth can take on a life of their own, and influence us in ways we couldn’t imagine. Nominated for the prestigious Donald Brittain Award for social/political documentary, BIG NEWS (2021) is a timely and chilling look at the US news media’s role in polarization of its citizens in 2020. Leading influencers in the news media take us behind the curtain to see what really happened with coverage including the pandemic, the racial reckoning surrounding George Floyd's tragic murder at the hands of police, the US presidential election and culminating in the January 6th insurrection on Capitol Hill.
THE FIFTH ESTATE (2019-2020)
Catherine returned to CBC to lead its flagship investigative news program through the 45th season. This innovative and fearless season, took home the Canadian Screen Award for Best Information Series covering subjects like the Gun Lobby’s fight to save assault weapons, the first Canadian murder solved by genealogical DNA mapping, nation’s race to de-radicalize returning ISIS fighters, police forces' increasing weaponization against Indigenous gangs, how to spot the next mass shooter hidden in plain sight, an inside look at Caitlin Coleman's court battle, hockey wives reveal the real cost of concussions, and an investigative look at how Boeing crashed, amongst others.
MET WHILE INCARCERATED (2018)
Writer, Director, Executive Producer
(Play Nice Productions)
Catherine stumbled across a prison pen pal dating website and three years later she wrote, directed and produced her feature documentary MET WHILE INCARCERATED (2018 documentary channel/Reelz). Her goal was to get beyond the stereotypes so she was embedded in the secretive and dramatic world of prison wives to earn the trust of 3 strong, successful women who fell in love with and married men in prison for violence crimes. This documentary had its world premiere at the LA Femme Film Festival in Los Angeles and Canadian premiere at The Hamilton Film Festival, and has since been distributed to over 20 countries making several critics' "top watch" lists. Some of her documentary journey was highlighted in Elizabeth Greenwood’s critically acclaimed and popular non-fiction book, LOVE LOCKDOWN, as they crossed paths in the prison wives’ world.
New Hope Film Festival
Executive Producer, Showrunner Season 1
The most fun job a person can have, Catherine helped to create, executive produced and was showrunner of Season 1 of CBC's hit comedy with heart, STILL STANDING. Now in its 8th season, comedian Jonny Harris is on a mission to find humour in the funniest of places by taking a journey across Canada to explore small towns on the ropes and meet the people who stay and fight for a future.