Caitlin McCarthy’s thriller A NATIVE LAND has won Best Feature Screenplay at the 2020 George Lindsey UNA Film Festival (also known as the Lindsey Film Festival). In A NATIVE LAND, a black Native American cop battles local prejudice, personal troubles, and her own police force while trying to uncover a serial killer on the loose.
Caitlin is a native of Worcester, Massachusetts, and is represented by legendary manager Barry Krost of Barry Krost Management. Krost is well known in the entertainment industry, both as a literary manager and producer. He has been involved in the careers of some of the entertainment industry’s leading talents, including Cat Stevens, Angela Lansbury, Richard Gere, Liza Minnelli, Peter Finch, Joan Collins, Elizabeth Montgomery, Jackie Collins, Michael Scott, Stuart Ross, John Osborne, and Lynn Mamet.
Caitlin was inspired to write A NATIVE LAND because she is of Métis descent through her Huron/Abenaki/French Canadian ancestry. Caitlin’s 8th great grandmother, Marie Olivier Sylvestre Manitouabeouich (1624-1665), was the daughter of Roch Manitouabeouich (a Huron) and Oueou Outchibahanoukoueou (an Abenaki). When Marie married Martin Prevost, Caitlin’s 8th great grandfather, it was the first recorded marriage between a Native person and a French person in Canada.
Caitlin is a member of the Métis Federation of Canada, and holds a Certificate of Aboriginal Status card through the Ontario Métis Family Records Center (OMFRC). She is very proud of her Native ancestry – but out of respect for those who are enrolled in a Nation and/or experience prejudice as a Native, she only checks the “Caucasian” box and never tries to muscle in on opportunities designed for Native artists.
With A NATIVE LAND, Caitlin’s intention is to create opportunities for Native artists through the leading roles of Roxanne Jones and her brother Christian. Actor Adam Beach’s words about the exclusion of Natives in casting resonated with Caitlin. Since every film starts with the script, Caitlin is in a position to be the change by creating characters who must be played by Natives.
As part of the prize, Caitlin received an all-expenses-paid trip to the Lindsey Film Festival held March 5 – 7 just before unnecessary travel and avoiding large gatherings was recommended. The festival is hosted each year by the University of North Alabama in Florence, one of the four cities comprising the culturally rich Shoals. The festival was founded by celebrated entertainer George Lindsey, along with the late Communications professor Bobby Hurt and now retired Director of University Relations Bill Jarnigan. George Lindsey is well known for his role of Goober Pyle on the Andy Griffith Show and many other credits in television, including episodes of Hee Haw, The Twilight Zone, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, Gunsmoke, MAS*H, and as the host of Turner South’s Emmy award-winning Liars & Legends.
Since 1998, the Lindsey Film Festival has exhibited independent films from across the world. Special guests have included Oscar winners Billy Bob Thornton and Ernest Borgnine; actors Michael Rooker (The Walking Dead), James Tolkan (BACK TO THE FUTURE and TOP GUN), Lee Majors (The Six Million Dollar Man), Cedric Pendleton (The Shield), Rance Howard (COOL HAND LUKE), and Stephen Root (O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU?); and many more.
The Lindsey Film Festival’s awards show will be streamed on “Facebook Live” on March 7, (starting at 7 pm eastern time) at www.facebook.com/GLUNAFF. The awards show will include a reading of a select scene from Caitlin’s thriller A NATIVE LAND. While at the festival, Caitlin will also spoke with students in a Creative Writing Appreciation course at the University of North Alabama.
Caitlin received her Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Emerson College, which is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the best graduate programs in the country. An award-winning screenwriter at international film festivals and labs, Caitlin has written feature screenplays including: “Wonder Drug,” a “Featured Script” on The Black List website, Bitch List honoree, and Top 50 in the 2019 Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting competition (out of 7,302 entries); “A Native Land,” Academy Nicholl Top 10% and promoted as a “highly-rated script” by The Black List website; and “Resistance,” a script accepted into the exclusive Squaw Valley Screenwriters Program, made possible with a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Academy Foundation of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Caitlin is also writing/creating the TV series “Free Skate,” named “One to Watch” on WeForShe’s WriteHer List; and partnering on writing/creating the TV series “Pass/Fail” with Jim Forbes (a multiple Emmy, ALMA, AP and Golden Mic award-winning writer, producer, correspondent, and narrator).
Caitlin has been recognized as an “Intelligent Optimist” by Ode Magazine; a “Woman to Watch” by IMAGINE Magazine; a “Person to Watch” by The Pulse Magazine; a “Woman To Watch” by Forty Over 40; and a “Red Sox Most Valuable Educator” twice by the Boston Red Sox.
Caitlin won an MTA Human and Civil Rights Award from the Massachusetts Teachers Association; and a “Service to Community” Alumni Award from Regis College. She was nominated twice (in 2011 and 2012) for a Presidential Citizens Medal for her work on the DES (diethylstilbestrol) tragedy. Caitlin was also a Fellowship Grant Recipient from the Worcester Arts Council; and a finalist for the Artist Fellowships Program of the Massachusetts Cultural Council, which provided her with a financial award.
In addition to screenwriting, Caitlin serves as an English Language Arts Instructor at Worcester Technical High School, a high-poverty urban public high school with universal free breakfast and lunch. Prior to education, she worked in public relations, where she fostered relationships with the press and crafted messages for companies that were delivered worldwide.
To learn more about Caitlin, visit www.caitlinmccarthy.com.