Vale: Caterina de Nave

SBS TV Corporate and ProductionFormer SBS Commissioning Editor Caterina de Nave passed away on the weekend, following a battle with leukemia, aged 67.

de Nave joined SBS in 2008 where she commissioned dozens of titles including Better Man, Danger 5, Housos, Legally Brown, A Pang for Brazil, and several Eurovision specials.

Prior to SBS she was New Zealand’s TV3 Head of Drama and Comedy, credited with helping to break the glass ceiling for women’s advancement within the NZ industry. She commissioned Outrageous Fortune, bro’Town, children’s drama Being Eve and New Zealand’s first prime time Asian show – A Thousand Apologies.

She was also the originating producer on Shortland Street while other credits included Topp Twins III, Children of the Dog Star, The Road to Jerusalem, In the Shadow of King Lear, Erebus: The Aftermath.

In a statement, SBS Managing Director Michael Ebeid said:

“We are immensely saddened by the death of a much loved and well respected colleague, SBS Commissioning Editor Caterina de Nave.

“Caterina held the position of Commissioning Editor for Drama, Comedy & Entertainment since joining SBS in 2009. She contributed greatly to the development of SBS’s content slate, drawing generously on her extensive industry background and strong relationships with the production sector.

“Caterina was known for her great passion and determination, and her input was valued enormously.

“Caterina will be sorely missed by the SBS family.”

Former Prime Minister Helen Clark, also paid tribute on Twitter, saying: “Very sad to hear of death of Caterina De Nave, major force in New Zealand screen industry for decades”.

A Facebook memorial can be found here.

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  1. Caterina’s passing is a major loss to our industry. For those of us in Australia hoping to tell stories that are not “mainstream”, that feature non Anglo cast as our protagonists, stories which are deemed too narratively and thematically risky for this country – Caterina was our champion. Better Man would never have been made without her. An incredibly creative and compassionate soul who will be missed.
    Khoa Do

  2. This is such sad news.

    Caterina was the very first editor I ever pitched a TV show to. She instantly realised I had no idea what I was doing, and kindly gave me a huge amount of info about how things work in TV Land. I still have the notes she gave me.

    She didn’t like my show (“too mainstream”), so we chatted about the shows she had commissioned for SBS. She was genuinely proud of her achievements in lifting SBS’s profile. Despite being in the industry for so long, she was still passionate about TV and finding interesting and weird shows to commission.

  3. Caterina will also be remembered as a trailblazer and an inspiration in Australia. I had the privilege of working with her at SBS where she was an inspiration, a source of wonderful ideas and a genuine all round wonderful person. She was passionate about multiculturalism on our screens and championed so many young producers and directors in her time here. She will be sadly missed.
    Denise Eriksen.

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