Director Catherine Hardwicke and Stanley Townsend on the set of New Line Cinema’s The Nativity Story – 2006

Best known for the shocking adolescent drama Thirteen and the sex-and-drugs-laden skater flick Lords of Dogtown, one might wonder how Catherine Hardwicke ended up helming the upcoming The Nativity Story. But if you consider her knack for tapping into the inner lives of young adults, then it all makes sense. “I had seen the nativity story just as we all do—a few simple passages with minimal detail and almost no insight into who Mary or Joseph were as people,” notes Hardwicke. “But in Mike [Rich]’s script, I saw this opportunity to really get inside the heads, hearts and souls of this young couple.”While Christian audiences will surely flock to the film, which opened December 1st (just in time for the holidays), Hardwicke’s street cred as a daring voice in the indie moviemaking scene will hopefully also draw a more alternative crowd, curious to see the director’s take on the ancient story of the birth of Jesus. Though The Nativity Story is only Hardwicke’s third outing as a director, she is no stranger to the movie world, having worked as a production designer (among various other positions) on almost 20 films since the 1980s. With a Sundance Director’s Award as well as a handful of Independent Spirit nominations under her belt, Hardwicke seems poised to become one of the most respected women in moviemaking.

In issue #36 of MovieMaker’s Hands-On-Pages, Hardwicke said of her future projects, “I want to do things that are personal—where I can feel a personal connection to the story. That’s what I’m most interested in.” In personalizing one of the vaguest—and most essential—narratives of the Bible, it seems that Hardwicke has established herself as the humanizing voice of the adolescent world—and we have no doubt that she’ll continue her pattern of making thought-provoking, personal films for many years to come.

Shameless Plug: To read the full interview with Hardwicke in MovieMaker’s Hands-On-Pages, visit
Sound Off: Is Hardwicke set to become one of the next great women moviemakers?  Is The Nativity Story proof that the director can bring realism to any genre of film? Talk back in the comments section of the blog!