Streamers: Director Kat Candler Recommends Some Favorite Films & TV

As part of our ongoing response to the Coronavirus crisis, we are asking some of our best pals for home streaming recommendations.

We go way back with this week’s guest. Kat Candler was a part of Austin’s film community for many years, making her own films and serving as an all-around catalyst for the moviemaking ecosystem here. AFS was honored to be able to help her with several grants along the way.

Her feature film HELLION (2014) made a major splash at Sundance and Austin’s secret was out. Soon she was directing, producing and writing for television. Her run on Ava DuVernay’s show Queen Sugar started with directing and progressed to show-running. Her career has taken her (so far) from zero-budget indie shorts to the cutting edge of the peak-television revolution. We can’t wait to see what the next few years hold for Kat.

Here are her picks, which, understandably, feature a television series.

BILLY MADISON (Amazon Purchase)

1995, D. Tamara Davis
This is my all time favorite comfort film. It just makes me smile and laugh because it’s so deliciously dumb. It’s an escapist movie at its finest.

SHOPLIFTERS (Amazon Purchase)

2018, D. Hirokazu Koreeda
This is in my top ten of the last decade hands down. I love Hirokazu Koreeda with all my heart and soul. And this film is pure humanity and empathy and love. It’s about a family of shoplifters but as it untangles it’s so much more layered, complex and heart exploding. And if you can find it, his film AFTERLIFE from early 2000 is one that was my entrance into his work. That film buried its way into my heart and hasn’t left ever since.


2019, D. Mati Diop
It’s a story about a young woman who’s married off while the man she really loves is lost at sea. And to say anymore would take away from the surprise and poetry of the film. It took me by surprise and left me unpacking it long after. And if you’re so  inclined Mati Diop’s short of the same name is on the Criterion Channel.


2019, D. Julia Reichert, Steven Bognar
When a Chinese businessman takes over an old GM factory in rural Ohio, Chinese workers come to the states to work alongside their American counterparts and the insights and observations are extraordinary and human.

PEAKY BLINDERS – series (Netflix)

Five seasons (2013-2019)
My latest television obsession. I devoured all 5 seasons. Cillian Murphy, Helen McCory, Sophie Rundle, Tom Hardy, Noah Taylor, Adrien Brody, Finn Cole, Sam Neill, Paddy Considine … wrapped up with Steven Knight’s words and scrumptious cinematography. That’s all.