Kate Antognini is a New York-based casting director and street scout for feature films, TV shows and commercials.
Kate is dedicated to finding individuals with striking, expressive faces that convey rich inner lives. As every single person on camera is critical to making an imagined world feel real, Kate helps productions hand pick all elements of their casts, from leading roles to background. Kate pursues talent from a variety of cultures and life experiences. Depending on a project’s needs, the scope of her searches can span the globe or be localized to a city.
Kate's unique process combines the casting of professional actors with "real people" (non-actors sought out to play narrative roles). She believes real people bring lived experience to their parts that audiences perceive in a moment's time, creating a texture that helps to expand the canvas of a film's world.
Kate equally values more traditional acting performances, which have their own special set of advantages. In most projects she casts, experienced actors are typically incorporated alongside real people.
Kate has cast four feature films comprised of a mix of actors and new discoveries: Goldie, which debuted at Berlin 2019, and Port Authority, which was executive produced by Martin Scorsese and premiered at Cannes Un Certain Regard the same year. In 2021 she cast the rural Americana film Runner, a feature from Easy Rider Films, currently in post production, and Palm Trees and Power Lines which was selected for the US Dramatic Competition at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival.
Port Authority was a historical first in that it featured the first trans woman of color as a lead in a Cannes film, as well as the first trans woman of color as a producer on a Cannes film. When casting Port Authority, Kate spent an extended period of time within the vibrant underground kiki scene, attending community balls, meeting with hundreds of kids, and listening to their life stories to create an ensemble cast that felt organic.
In 2019, Kate cast They Saw the Sun First for director Stefan Hunt, which won a 2021 BAFTA. This film involved months of scouting older people on the streets of New York City, hearing their stories, and pairing their voices with young performers who interpreted their words through dance and movement.
Kate's most recent project is the Nathan Fielder-produced narrative-documentary hybrid How To with John Wilson for HBO, an absurdist love letter to New York City and all its varied inhabitants. The show features real people from all walks of life.
Part urban travelogue, part first-person essay, the show is, at its core, an anthropological exploration of New Yorkers in their native habitats. Imagine David Attenborough having minor epiphanies in the style of Carrie Bradshaw. Fielder described the show as “Planet Earth, but for New York.” Here, the wildlife is substituted for confused people making their way through a complicated time.
-The New York Times