Catherine Donaldson


Catherine is fascinated by the different worlds in which people live. In 2004 she combined her theatre and film experience with a degree in Archaeology and Anthropology to become a documentary filmmaker. She honed her skills working with community, arts and educational groups before founding Eggplant12 Films Ltd in 2007. She produced and directed her first feature documentary, Beauty and Brains, in 2010 with the support of the World Bank. In 2016 she returned to fiction with His Girl, which came out of a Southwark Youth Offending Services strategy to prevent peer-on-peer exploitation of girls.  She also lectures in Film and Media at University of Brighton. She is now embarking on a PhD at University of Sussex.


Catherine uses an original combination of strategy, anthropology and filmmaking to produce intimate and enlightening results. Her methodology allows us to bring films and research to life because she are passionate about understanding how people live, think and feel.

This could be achieved by monitoring policy processes, translating programmatic experiences into compelling communication products, networking and learning together, or by creating spaces for dialogue and debate about social issues.

She delivers high quality communication products whilst building capacity with the participants she is filming, and encourage continuous learning and feedback. The end product is both a film product but also a qualitative process of engaging beneficiary views, and capturing their voices and perspectives.

Her objectives are to collaborate with organizations on how to use film, documentaries and media to conduct advocacy on global social issues – ranging from disability rights in the UK to the rights of sexual minorities in South Asia.


At Eggplant12 Films:

  • She discovers and frames what is important in a way that provides emotional content and meaning.  
  • She does this by understanding the narrative of the brief and how this narrative fits into the overall plan.
  • She takes the time to engage with the participants and by building stronger relationships the insights deepen.
  • She can then present the findings in a story of either documentary or fictional form.