Catherine Hunter (filmmaker)

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Catherine Hunter is an Australian filmmaker, journalist, television producer and director.

Hunter joined the Nine Network's Sunday program in 1985. After two decades of producing documentary-length cover stories on the arts, she left the program in 2006 to work as a freelance documentary maker, specialising in films about Australian artists.[1][2] Most of her independent films have been broadcast on ABC TV.

In addition to her broadcast documentaries, Hunter has contributed commissioned films for the Art Gallery of New South Wales and the National Portrait Gallery (Australia) in conjunction with exhibitions of Australian and international artists, including Anselm Kiefer.[3] In 2006 she received a Commendation in the Walkley Awards for Journalism for her profile on architect Peter Stutchbury and in the same year won the Australian Institute of Architects prize for architectural journalism.[4]

In 2009 Hunter’s documentary on Sidney Nolan examined the influences of his relationships with the three women who shaped his life.[5]

Hunter visited Jeffrey Smart at his farmhouse in Tuscany while filming her documentary on the great Australian painter, and he takes the film crew to some of the places near Arezzo that have long inspired him, the concrete streetscapes and urban wastelands that define his vision.[6]

Hunter’s method is to spend time filming with her subjects at times of great personal and professional significance, often over a period of many years. In 2010 she returned to the subject of an earlier film, Margaret Olley, following the artist as she completed her last works, painted in the 18 months leading up to her death on 26 July 2011.[7][8] In early 2012 Hunter was with artist Jenny Sages as she dealt with the death of her husband Jack and produced the grieving self-portrait that would cause such a sensation at the Archibald Prize.[9]

Australia’s greatest living architect, Glenn Murcutt, allowed Hunter to follow him for nearly a decade as he undertook a rare public commission, a mosque for the Newport Islamic community in Melbourne – a strikingly contemporary building without minarets and domes, designed to be physically and psychologically inclusive. .[10][11] Hunter documents the growing acceptance of the design, weaving into the narrative the stories of his famous domestic commissions, interviews with those involved, and an intimate biography of his life. The Australian newspaper described Hunter’s film as “beguiling and beautifully balanced.” [12]


  • Anselm Kiefer: Aperiatur terra (2007)
  • China's Avant-Garde: The New Cultural Revolution (2009)
  • Glenn Murcutt: Architecture for Place (2009)
  • Sidney Nolan: Mask and Memory (2009)
  • Inland Heart: The Photography of Jeff Carter (2010)
  • Wendy Sharpe: The Imagined Life (2010)
  • Margaret Olley: A Life In Paint (2012)
  • Jenny Sages: Paths to Portraiture (2012)
  • Roger Law: A Law Unto Himself (2012)
  • William Robinson: A Painter’s Journey (2012)
  • Jeffrey Smart: Master of Stillness (2012)
  • Savannah Country: The Art of Julie Poulsen and Jenny Valmadre (2012)
  • The Holtermann Legacy (2013)
  • TarraWarra Museum of Art: An Enduring Passion (2013)
  • Cox Architecture: Transitions in Landscape (2014)
  • Trent Parke: The Black Rose (2015). Includes Trent Parke, Narelle Autio and Geoff Dyer.[13]
  • Glenn Murcutt: Spirit of Place (2016)


  1. ^ "Goodbye gravitas, hello glitz". Peter Craven, The Age. 31 August 2006. 
  2. ^ "Trailblazer dying of neglect". Graham Davis, The Australian. 2 November 2006. 
  3. ^ "All Hail the Master of Irony". John McDonald, The Sydney Morning Herald. 9 June 2007. 
  4. ^ "NSW RAIA Architecture Awards 2006". 
  5. ^ "Mask And Memory: Sidney Nolan". ABC TV. 4 June 2009. 
  6. ^ "Tracing artistic steps in Smart's country". Graeme Blundell, The Australian. 27 November 2012. 
  7. ^ "Margaret Olley: A Life In Paint". ABC Local. 23 July 2012. 
  8. ^ "Olley's Yellow Room Triptych goes to Armidale gallery". Australian Financial Review. 28 June 2012. 
  9. ^ "Jenny Sages - Paths to Portraiture". ABC Arts. 23 August 2012. 
  10. ^ "Review". Sydney Morning Herald. 1 December 2016. 
  11. ^ "Glenn Murcutt on mosque without minarets". Sydney Morning Herald. 2 December 2016. 
  12. ^ "Review, Graeme Blundell". The Australian. 3 December 2016. 
  13. ^ Hunter, Catherine (22 April 2015). "Trent Parke: The Black Rose". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 23 April 2015. 

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