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U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Director, Maggie Betts

Spanning the early 1950s through the mid-’60s, this coming-of-age story is about a young girl's first love. In this case, her first love is God. Raised by a deeply caring, non-religious mother, Cathleen is drawn to the heady mysticism of the lives of Catholic nuns and their undying romantic devotion to their chosen husband, Jesus Christ. She enrolls in a training program with The Sisters of Blessed Rose, a cloistered convent. As Cathleen progresses from the postulant to the novitiate levels of her tutelage, her faith is challenged by the harsh, often inhumane realities of being a nun, just as Pope John XXIII’s announcement of the Second Vatican Council threatens to alter the course of nuns’ lives forever.

Writer/director Maggie Betts is a filmmaker to watch. Propelled by exceptional performances from Margaret Qualley as Cathleen, Julianne Nicholson as her mother, and Melissa Leo as the Reverend Mother, Betts has crafted an uncanny journey of a young woman in a rarefied world on the brink of extinction.

YEAR 2016

SECTION U.S. Dramatic


RUN TIME 123 min

COMPANY Maven Pictures

EMAIL celine@mavenpic.com

PHONE (212) 725-3550


Executive Producers
Production Designer
Costume Designer

Artist Bio

Maggie Betts

Maggie is a native New Yorker and a graduate of Princeton University. Her first documentary film, The Carrier, was released in 2011, and her first narrative short film, Engram, followed in 2014. Novitiate marks Maggie's narrative feature directorial debut, from a script she also wrote. Her original inspiration for the film was to create a unique and intimate story about the way women love.