As an independent filmmaker, Kat O'Brien writes, directs, and produces genre-bending narratives and socially conscious documentary content that push boundaries without sacrificing commercial sensibility.
During the COVID-19 Pandemic public school closures, Kat partnered with Tamika J. Spaulding and Melinda Spaulding to Executive Produce We Still Teach, a partnership between the Chicago Teachers Union and Fox32/My50. Entirely remote produced, Season 1 ran as a daily show, and Season 2 ran as a weekly show--putting teachers on television to help Chicago bridge the digital divide and raise awareness for the imbalance of equity and access to opportunity during remote learning.
Kat's directorial debut, Not Long After afforded her the opportunity to break into commercial screenwriting. The film is an existential comedy about coming to terms with grief, and stars acclaimed thespian Nanette Hennig Fraser, Rob Kerkovich (NSCIS: New Orleans) and Nicholas Massouh (West Bank Story). Brian Mazzaferri of I Fight Dragons composed the score and soundtrack.
Known for her ability to build dynamic teams, Kat frequently collaborates with filmmakers that share her artistic sensibilities, passion for storytelling, and with those known for their innovative approaches to production and distribution. Comfortable wearing many hats throughout the lifecycle of a project, Kat leverages her creative expertise to partner with thought-leaders in the finance and distribution space. Currently, Kat is developing a diverse range of projects for film, TV, and digital with her team, and in support of filmmakers she mentors around the world.
In the documentary space, Kat is the co-creator of The Oduoro Project, filmed over the course of several years in rural Uganda. The film explores the power of personal connection in motivating philanthropy, and the subsequent challenges and ethical complications that arise in international development ventures. The film is currently in post-production. Kat believes that through storytelling and filmmaking, we have an incredible power to reach broad audiences to change hearts and minds, and impact social change.
Her latest venture, ChiTown Screenwriting, is both a community and a newsletter. Leveraging her skills as a producer, writer, and changemaker, Kat seeks to explore possible innovations in the independent film and television industry through building pathways to platforms in this inclusive space for under represented creators and their collaborators to connect.