Katherine Brooks

Last updated
Katherine Brooks
Sara Katherine Hill

(1976-03-15) March 15, 1976 (age 44)
OccupationWriter, film director
Website http://www.katherinebrooks.com

Katherine Brooks (born March 15, 1976) is an American film writer and director. Brooks is a member of the Directors Guild of America, a Jury Member for Samsung Fresh-Films 2007—the largest teen filmmaking program in the USA, and is the recipient of the LACE Award for Arts and Entertainment, which honors women who have made a difference in the entertainment community. In 2011, she was named one of the "Amazing Gay Women and Amazing Gay Men in Showbiz" by POWER UP. [1]



Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson of The Newlyweds TheNewlyweds.jpg
Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson of The Newlyweds

Brooks has directed prominent television shows, as well as written and directed films which received acclaim. Her film and television credits include three seasons of the Emmy Award winning show The Osbournes , Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica , and MTV's groundbreaking The Real World . While associated with MTV, she helmed the network's There and Back , with Ashley Parker Angel and Tiffany Lynn, Meet the Barkers with Blink 182 drummer Travis Barker, and directed and produced The Simple Life starring Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie. [2]

Brooks moved into directing feature films after receiving critical praise for her short films Finding Kate and Dear Emily. Brooks's work has been screened at over 100 festivals around the world, and she has garnered several awards, including "Emerging Filmmaker Award" at the Italian Film Festival and the "Grand Jury Prize" at the Chicago Film Festival.[ citation needed ]

Brooks's first feature film, Loving Annabelle , which Brooks wrote and directed and stars Erin Kelly, Diane Gaidry and Kevin McCarthy, debuted at the prestigious Cinequest Film Festival in 2006; the film won the Audience Award and Best Actress Award at Outfest. [3] [4] In addition, Loving Annabelle won Best Feature Film at Melbourne Film Festival (2006), Barcelona Film Festival (2006) and Atlanta Film Festival (2006), and the Jury Award at Paris Cinema Festival (2006); the film picked up six audience awards and four Jury Awards over the course of the six-month festival run.[ citation needed ]

Brooks wrote her second feature, the indie thriller Waking Madison , in New Orleans, a film which stars Sarah Roemer (Disturbia), Elisabeth Shue, Will Patton, Frances Conroy, and Taryn Manning. The film explores the journey of a young woman suffering from multiple personality disorder.[ citation needed ] Her latest projects include Face 2 Face, Little Monsters & 1140 Royal Street.[ citation needed ]

Personal life

Brooks is openly lesbian [5] [6] and a human rights activist. [6] Along with her work within the LGBT community, Brooks is a spokesperson for PETA and a practicing Buddhist who travels to India every year.[ citation needed ] Brooks lives in New Orleans, Louisiana.[ citation needed ]


Finding Kate

In 2004, Erin Kelly and Brooks made an experimental short film called Finding Kate. The short film was part of a series called Virgin Memoirs, a compilation which narrated the "first time" experiences of women.[ citation needed ]

A young Erin Kelly (Loving Annabelle) plays 17-year-old Kate at a wedding reception. When she sees Victoria (Jessica Lancaster), she quickly drops her boyfriend's hand to go and talk to her cousin. The two flirt and end up in the pool together, their eyes dancing until they begin to kiss.[ citation needed ]

Dear Emily

"Sara is going to visit her high school friend Emily. On her journey there, she recalls her last experience with her teenage crush, remembering a letter that she wrote Emily—a letter confessing her love for her. Following a painful flashback to Emily's mocking of Sara after she reads the note, and recalling the hurt that Emily had caused her, as Sara finally reaches her destination at the finale of this short film, she decides to keep on driving." "Dear Emily" was funded by EVEO.com after Brooks won a pitch contest for her feature film, Loving Annabelle. Despite being given only 6 weeks from conception to completion, and just $1,000 to make it, the film, to date, has made back over 500% of its profit.[ citation needed ]

Loving Annabelle

The stars and Director on the set of Loving Annabelle, 2006 Talkwiththestars.jpg
The stars and Director on the set of Loving Annabelle, 2006

Loving Annabelle is the controversial story of a Catholic boarding school teacher, Simone Bradley (Diane Gaidry), who has an affair with her female student, Annabelle (Erin Kelly).

Loving Annabelle was written to explore the complexity and controversy of love and struggle between two women who "have every reason to deny their feelings". Blind to the world around them, the two journey into a love affair destined to change their lives forever. Inspired by the 1931 German classic, Mädchen in Uniform , Brooks clarified:

Loving Annabelle was a labor of love. I wrote the script while traveling the world working on reality shows to pay my bills. While crews would be off sharing a drink after wrap, I'd be huddled in my hotel corner with Cocteau Twins playing on my computer while I wrote. It took five years to put it together. It all started when I saw Erin Kelly (Annabelle) in the audience of a play I went to see. For years we worked on the character together, developing her especially for Erin to play—much of the dialogue is from us work-shopping it together. Diane Gaidry (Simone) then came on board to play opposite Erin.

We were able to raise money for the entire production, through a collection of people which included ourselves, and set off to shoot the day after July 4th in 2005. We shot Annabelle in less than three weeks, with just twenty minutes to shoot some scenes, which for a director is frustrating. In most big budget movies, you average a page a day of script; we were shooting, on average, seven pages.

We edited Loving Annabelle every day and night over a 12-week period. I then collaborated with the exceptionally talented music artists Aurah, who created a masterpiece of sound. We premiered at Cinequest that November, and were subsequently approached by many distributors – some much larger and more well known that Wolfe – but as filmmakers felt like Wolfe would get behind our film and give it the distribution it deserved. Many people ask me how I feel watching it now and if I'm happy with the final product. I don't know if a director is ever really happy with their work, I just know I'm proud of what we were able to achieve with so little money and so little time.[ citation needed ]

The film was summed up by Variety magazine as a "Guilty Pleasure", and has won numerous awards on the festival circuit, including the Outfest Award for Best Actress, and the Outfest Award for the Audience Choice. [7] The film sat in the top five list of videos rented by lesbians according to Wolfe Video's web site. [8] It is recommended by 100% of readers on scene-OUT.com, and is ranked on the bestseller's list in its category on Amazon. [9]

Waking Madison

Sarah Roemer of Waking Madison, 2010 SarahRoemerWakingMadison.jpg
Sarah Roemer of Waking Madison, 2010

Waking Madison is the provocative story of a young woman's battle with mental illness. [10] [11]

Madison Walker (Sarah Roemer) is suffering of dissociative identity disorder or multiple personality disorder. Living in New Orleans and working as a sex phone operator, Madison is doing everything she can to lead a normal life.

When a series of events leaves Madison suicidal and desperate, she locks herself away in her apartment for 30 days. Using a video camera to document herself like a visual journal, Madison clearly states on her first entry that if she does not have the answers to her questions and feels more at people with her life on the 30th day, she will kill herself.

With the help of Doctor Elizabeth Barnes (Elisabeth Shue), Madison begins to slowly piece her life together. Determined to find a cure for herself, Madison hostages herself in her apartment for 30 days and embarks on a journey to discover: what is real? The climactic twist at the end leaves audiences with the very same question. Brooks stated:

I'm intrigued by the challenge of telling a story from the perspective of a character suffering from multiple personality disorder. Visually, Madison will take on an innovative style of mixing narrative with documentary- realism.

As part of research for the topic, Brooks locked herself up for 30 days and underwent the same process as the character Madison. This helped Brooks to visually re-create her experiences from the trial, bringing the character and the story more to life. Waking Madison was shot on location in New Orleans in Winter 2007.[ citation needed ]

Face 2 Face

Katherine shooting Face 2 Face Movie, 2011 KatbrooksF2F.jpg
Katherine shooting Face 2 Face Movie, 2011

Brooks recently completed a documentary with the director doing a three-month summer trip around the country, meeting 50 of her Facebook friends who said yes when she posed the question as her status, "Who would like to spend a day with me and I'll come visit you". The idea was born after the director had a surgery, and despite having 4700 friends on Facebook, stated that she felt alone. [12]



Short films



See also

Related Research Articles

Elisabeth Shue American actress

Elisabeth Judson Shue is an American actress, best known for her starring roles in the films The Karate Kid (1984), Adventures in Babysitting (1987), Cocktail (1988), Back to the Future Part II (1989), Back to the Future Part III (1990), Soapdish (1991), Leaving Las Vegas (1995), The Saint (1997), Hollow Man (2000), and Piranha 3D (2010). She has won several acting awards and has been nominated for an Academy Award, a Golden Globe and a BAFTA. She starred as Julie Finlay in the CBS procedural forensics crime drama CSI: Crime Scene Investigation from 2012 to 2015. More recently she had supporting roles in Battle of the Sexes (2017) and Death Wish (2018). She was also a series regular in the first season of the Amazon series The Boys (2019).

<i>Hide and Seek</i> (2005 film) 2005 American thriller film directed by John Polson

Hide and Seek is a 2005 American horror film starring Robert De Niro and Dakota Fanning. It was directed by John Polson. The film opened in the United States on January 28, 2005, and grossed $122 million worldwide. Rotten Tomatoes cited praise for De Niro and Fanning for their performances, though its consensus called the film "derivative, illogical and somewhat silly". Fanning received an MTV Movie Award for Best Frightened Performance in 2005.

Jenni Olson American filmmaker

Jenni Olson is an American film curator, filmmaker, author, and LGBT film historian. She was born and raised in Falcon Heights, Minnesota. She co-founded the pioneering LGBT website PlanetOut.com, and campaigned to have a barrier erected on the Golden Gate Bridge to prevent suicides.

Sheela Lambert is an American civil rights activist, and writer. She is the Founder/Director of the Bisexual Book Awards, founder of the Bi Writers Association, was co-founder of Bi Women of All Colors and has been active in a number of bisexual rights groups including BiNet USA. She is openly bisexual and wrote about bisexuality and LGBT popular culture/entertainment issues in her national bisexual column for Examiner.com for seven years as well as articles for Curve, The Huffington Post, The Advocate, AfterEllen and AfterElton, Bi Magazine, Lambda Literary Foundation and the America Today LGBTQ Encyclopedia and editing for various efforts including Biwriters.org. She frequently presents information on bisexuality issues at universities, colleges, conferences, high schools and in-service trainings. She also continues to advocate against bisexual erasure.

Dreya Weber American actress

Dreya Weber is an American actress, producer, director, and aerialist.

Outfest is an LGBT-oriented film showcase and festival in Los Angeles. Outfest is a leading LGBTQ+ organization with a stated mission of promoting equality by creating, sharing and protecting LGBTQ+ stories on the screen. Outfest is the first and only one Oscar/ Academy awards qualifying LGBTQ+ film festival in the world.

<i>Loving Annabelle</i> 2006 film by Katherine Brooks

Loving Annabelle is a 2006 American romantic drama film directed by Katherine Brooks. In the tradition of Mädchen in Uniform, it tells the story of a boarding school student who falls in love with her teacher. It was filmed at Marymount High School in Los Angeles.

Sarah Roemer American model and actress

Sarah Christine Roemer is an American actress and model. One of her best-known roles was the lead in Disturbia, and she has also starred in a number of films including Asylum, Hachi: A Dog's Tale, Fired Up!, Waking Madison, and The Con Artist, as well as the television series The Event and Chosen.

<i>Girl Play</i> 2004 film by Lee Friedlander

Girl Play is an independent film produced in 2004 by Gina G. Goff and Laura A. Kellam of Goff-Kellam Productions. The feature film was directed by Lee Friedlander. The film had a limited theatrical release in 2005.

<i>Waking Madison</i> 2010 film by Katherine Brooks

Waking Madison is a 2011 American independent drama film written and directed by Katherine Brooks and starring Sarah Roemer and Elisabeth Shue.

Erin Kelly American actress

Erin Kelly is an American film, theater and television actress, best known for her role as Annabelle Tillman in Katherine Brooks' 2006 film Loving Annabelle.

Tiffany Lynn Rowe, also known professionally as Tiffany Lynn, is an American model and actress, initially best known as the partner and later fiancée of singer-songwriter Ashley Parker Angel in the reality series There and Back.

Diane Gaidry American actress

Diane Adair Gaidry was an American film and theatre actress.

Rosser Goodman is an American film and T.V. director, writer and producer. Goodman founded her own production company, KGB Films in the 90's upon moving to Hollywood. Goodman's company is now called Circle Content in partnership with fashion designer and costume designer Oneita Parker.

<i>The Four-Faced Liar</i> 2010 film by Jacob Chase

The Four-Faced Liar is a 2010 comedy-drama-romance film directed by Jacob Chase. The title is a reference to a four-faced clock that displays four different times, all wrong, and to a bar with that name that features prominently as a location in the film.

<i>Bloomington</i> (film) 2010 film by Fernanda Cardoso

Bloomington is a 2010 coming-of-age drama film about a former child actress attending college in search of independence and who ends up becoming romantically involved with a professor, played by Allison McAtee. Their relationship thrives until an opportunity to return to acting forces them to make life-altering decisions.

Margaret Elizabeth Ellison is an American film producer and entrepreneur. She is founder of Annapurna Pictures, established in 2011. She has producing credits on the films Zero Dark Thirty (2012), Her (2013), American Hustle (2013), and Phantom Thread (2017), all of which have earned her Oscar nominations. In 2014, she was included in the annual Time 100 list of the most influential people in the world.

Jennifer Young American film producer and photographer

Jennifer Young is an American film producer and photographer.

Desiree Akhavan American filmmaker and screenwriter

Desiree Akhavan (born December 27, 1984) is an American film director, producer, screenwriter and actress based in New York. She was born in New York City. She is best known for her 2014 feature film debut Appropriate Behavior, and her 2018 film The Miseducation of Cameron Post.

Andrea Weiss is an American independent documentary filmmaker, author, and professor of film/video at the City College of New York where she co-directs the MFA Program in Film. She was the archival research director for the documentary Before Stonewall: The Making of a Gay and Lesbian Community (1984), for which she won a News & Documentary Emmy Award.


  1. Jarchow, Boo (November 8, 2011). "Power Up's Amazing Gay Women and Men In Showbiz Awards: Photos". Pride .
  2. "Katherine Brooks" Retrieved 8 June 2015
  3. Metroactive.com
  4. "Outfest.org". Archived from the original on 2013-09-21. Retrieved 2008-12-12.
  5. Maxwell, Carrie (August 17, 2011). "Lesbian filmmaker Katherine Brooks on new movie, the film industry". Windy City Times . Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  6. 1 2 Guzman, K. (August 25, 2011). "Katherine Brooks and her new documentary "Face to Face"". The L Stop. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  7. Harvey, Dennis (2006-04-03). "Loving Annabelle Movie Review". Variety.
  8. Wolfevideo.com Archived 2008-12-16 at the Wayback Machine
  9. Scene-out.com
  10. Dave McNary (2007-10-16). "Roemer, Shue join 'Madison'". Variety . Retrieved 2008-10-11.
  11. Monika Bartyzel (2007-11-05). "Frances Conroy and Will Patton Will Also Be 'Waking Madison'". Cinematical. Retrieved 2008-10-11.
  12. Face2facemovie.com