2020 Viola Award Finalist for Emerging Artist

   Ember Crowley is a sophomore at Northern Arizona University and is majoring in Independent Filmmaking in the Creative Media and Film Department. In 2019, she was awarded a scholarship from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences as well as the Eric and Myrene Temple scholarship. She was also hired by Paul Helford during the summer as a paid intern for the BREDA workshop where students from the Netherlands come to NAU to work on various film projects. During her first year at NAU, she worked as one of the animators for an extraordinary film called “Hiraeth” and just recently has been offered the opportunity from Bill Carter to direct a short film, “Skin Deep” written by Chloe Marie Aldecoa, produced through UTV, starting in February. It will be the first time she has a directed a thriller. Ember is working on a new script, “Maniac and The Milkman”, that she intends to film this year. Her most successful short films have traditionally been black and white films so she has decided to push her comfort zone and shoot this film in soft pastels borrowing palette ideas from her favorite director, Wes Anderson. This film will also be a thriller with a poetic overtone that follows the path of a deranged, young woman who hides a few secret obsessions.

A few months ago, Ember applied to a director’s workshop that was offered by the Sundance Film Institute where she was required to submit a film treatment, letters of intent and biographical information as well as a resume. Only 30 people in the country were going to be chosen for the workshop and not only was she selected to participate, they also awarded her a scholarship to help cover the fees for the workshop. It was such an incredible honor! 

During the month of December, Ember was offered the opportunity to work as Sound Tech and Assistant Camera on a film out of Los Angeles called “Devotee”, directed by Sharmila Ray. It gave her the chance to work with new equipment and a new crew of film industry professionals where she gained priceless experience as a growing filmmaker. 

Her film bio from the time she was 15 years old is already impressive where she has won many awards in film festivals throughout several countries, including Scotland, Belgium, India, Sweden and Italy as well as several U.S. cities such as, Los Angeles, Austin, Cameron, Colorado Springs, Jim Thorpe (PA), Princeton University and her beloved Flagstaff. She was also nominated for the Jean-Luc Godard Award from Cult Critic Film Awards. 

One of her proudest moments was earlier this year when another one of her filmswas being screened at The FilmBar in Phoenix, a theater that specializes in independent film. The coordinator of the film series informed Ember that whenever one of her films has been chosen to appear on their line-up, people will travel from out of town to the theater to watch “an Ember film”. She is already developing a style which is so important with any form of art. Another proud moment for Ember was in October when her experimental film was screened at The Arizona Women’s Film Festival. This is the same film that won first place at the Nanjing University of Arts in China and was also screened at the NAU Film Festival back in May. Ember has regularly expressed her frustration with the low percentage of female directors that are still underrepresented, so to have her film screened at The Arizona Women’s Film Festival was an extraordinary honor.

Several years ago, Ember started working as an intern for Maria Campbell for The Flagstaff Mountain Film Festival. Maria has become such an important mentor in Ember’s life as she has become one of her strongest advocates. Mike Frankelat the Film Noir Festival and Reba Stone at the Sedona International Film Festival have also given endless support while she has volunteered for their festivals in the past, as well!