Emma Catalfamo (August 25, 1993 - November 29, 2021) was an accomplished, creative, and award-winning filmmaker with a deep interest in subjectively framing the world from different angles through film and photography. Emma was drawn to telling unique stories and conveying complex imagery and feelings through the creation of intimate visual moments. Her works were palpable slices of life, realistic events shown in ways that defied the mundanity of everyday existence.

Many of Emma’s cinematic works have dealt with themes such as addiction, mental illness, unexpected pregnancy, toxic masculinity, and the generally oppressive nature of idealized gender roles. Emma cared deeply about the LGBTQ+ community she identified with, and those whose voices often go unheard. Emma advocated for creating spaces for people to feel safe and to know they were not alone, from conversations around the dinner table to the stories she told through her films.

In 2021, shortly before her passing, Emma debuted her first directorial feature film On the Fringe of Wild, and started her own production company, Dancing Caribou Productions Inc. Emma’s dream was to be a feature filmmaker, something we’re proud she achieved during her life. She overcame many obstacles in completing the film, which was largely made through the COVID-19 pandemic. The feature had its World Premiere at OUTShine Miami Film Festival 2021 and its California Premiere at FilmOut San Diego 2021. The feature was distributed in the U.S. and international markets by Breaking Glass Pictures, LLC, and by Level Films Inc., in Canada.

In loving memory of Emma, the Catalfamo family is honoured to create The Emma Catalfamo Emerging Filmmaker Award, to help provide financial support to young filmmakers like Emma with a passion to create, as they look to launch a career in film. The Award will be presented annually to an under-represented Canadore College student with lived experience of systemic barriers to equitable access to financial or other resources and opportunities. The student shall be graduating from their final year of the full-time Digital Cinematography program. Preference will be given to students who identify as female, transgender or non-binary. The recipient will be determined by their demonstrated determination and talent for a promising career in film, as well as their compassion and service to others.