Catherine Hand’s first instinct to become a producer was at the age of ten years old when she read the book A Wrinkle in Time and thought it should be a movie. She started a letter to Walt Disney, because he was the only person she knew who made movies for children. Catherine was too shy to send the letter, but when Walt Disney died on December 15, 1966, she made a promise to herself to grow up and make the movie. On March 9, 2018, over fifty years after that promise was made, she was one of the two producers on Disney’s motion picture adaptation of the award winning children’s classic.
The film was directed by Ava DuVernay (SELMA), scripted by Jennifer Lee (FROZEN), and starred Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Chris Pine, and Mindy Kaling. DuVernay became the first woman of color to direct a film with a budget over $100 Million and received much praise for the diversity of both cast and crew.
Catherine’s career was launched in the entertainment business working for the legendary writer/producer Norman Lear. She was the Associate Producer on Lear’s Emmy Nominated ABC TV special, I Love Liberty, and helped to create the national nonprofit, People for the American Way. Later, she served as a development executive at Zoetrope, Francis Coppola’s company where she worked on several projects, including Godfather III.
As Vice President of Norman Lear’s film company, Embassy Pictures, Hand secured the much sought-after film rights to A Wrinkle in Time and established a lifelong friendship with the author, Madeleine L’Engle. Earning L'Engle's trust, Catherine became the steward for the film adaptation - an odyssey of perseverance spanning over four decades. In 2003, she executive produced ABC's television adaptation of the novel prior to spending the following decade working with Disney to bring the novel to a worldwide theatrical audience.
Catherine has also worked for years in the public service sector. After having produced several large-scale events for national organizations, and garnering a Gracie Award for best public affairs programming in 2009, Hand was recruited by the Obama Administration where she was part of the core leadership team involved in communicating policies and political decisions impacting the global federal workforce.