Katharine O’Brien is a writer/director raised between Santa Barbara, CA and South Boston. Influenced by the contrast of having a renown art dealer step father and Southie police officer father, Katharine’s work is largely characterized by social satire.
Adept in quality story-telling, Katharine studied English literature at Wellesley College and received her MFA from Columbia University in film directing. Katharine worked as a writing assistant for The Kids in the Hall, the Russo Brothers (ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT) and in development at MUSE Film (AMERICAN PSYCHO, VIRGIN SUICIDES) where she wound up a featured character in Bret Easton Ellis’s upcoming film THE GOLDEN SUICIDES, about the mysterious deaths of two art world stars. A large background in music, Katharine directed concert films and music documentaries in her early years of bands such as Iggy Pop, The Dead Weather, Guns N Roses, Crystal Castles, and Courtney Love. Katharine’s short films have won accolades at numerous festivals, her Columbia thesis film, ILLUSIVE FIELDS appeared in Miami Basel in 2015.
Katharine most recently penned THE AUTOMATIC HATE, (starring Joseph Cross, Adelaide Clemmens, Deborah Ann Woll, Richard Schiff, and Ricky Jay) which had its world premiere at SXSW Film Festival at 2015 and went on to receive much critical acclaim, playing top international festivals such as Busan, Mar del Plata, Tallin Black Nights, and winning the Audience Award at Mill Valley Film Festival. THE AUTOMATIC HATE is having its theatrical release in 2016.
Katharine is repped by PULSE Films, who are producing her directorial feature LOST TRANSMISSIONS, which examines the state of the mental healthcare system and the homeless situation in Los Angeles through a true-life story of a group of friends in the music scene. Katharine is also currently developing a show for ASTRONAUTS WANTED, a digital studio helmed by former chair and CEO of MTV Networks, Judy McGrath. Katharine is actively involved in promoting the arts and independent film culture in Los Angeles, as a member of LACMA's Contemporary Friends committee and serving on the Board of Directors at the Cinefamily Foundation.