An Award-Winning Filmmaker Ember Crowley


Ember Crowley is 19 years old, attends Northern Arizona University, and is majoring in Independent Filmmaking in the Creative Media and Film Department. In 2019, among other scholarships, she was awarded a scholarship from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

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. Not only was she selected to participate, but they also awarded her a scholarship to help cover the fees for the workshop.

Ember was given the opportunity to work as Sound Tech and 2nd 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 crew of film industry professionals where she gained priceless experience as a growing filmmaker. During the summer of 2020, she was hired as a PA with the reality TV show, “Sister Wives”, again, gaining valuable work experience in a professional setting.

Her film bio from the time she was 15 years old is already impressive where she has won many awards and official selections in festivals throughout several countries, including Scotland, Belgium, India, Sweden, France, and Italy as well as several U.S. cities such as Los Angeles, New York, Austin, Cameron, Colorado Springs, Jim Thorpe (PA), Princeton University and her beloved Flagstaff.

One of her proudest moments was earlier this year when another one of her films was being screened at The FilmBar in Phoenix, Arizona, 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 watch “an Ember film”. She is already developing a style that is so important with any form of art.

Another proud moment for Ember in 2019 included the screening of her experimental film at The Arizona Women’s Film Festival. This is the same film that won first place at the Nanjing University of Arts in China. 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 Frankel at the Film Noir Festival and Reba Stone at the Sedona International Film Festival have also given endless support while she has interned for their festivals.

Ember has been with UTV at NAU since freshman year where she has worked as a manager and now director. She spent nearly a year working as an animator on an extraordinary stop motion film called, “Hiraeth”. During the spring of 2020, she was given the opportunity to direct a thriller, “Skin Deep”, and will write and direct a documentary in the fall of 2020. She is also hoping to write and direct another thriller, “Maniac and the Milkman”, during spring 2021. She is now the president of The Film Society at NAU.

Ember has been nominated for several film awards, including The Jean Luc Godard Award and in 2020 for Best Emerging Artist from the Viola Awards, and has won numerous awards for best student director, best cinematography (student), best film, and best thriller short.

Ember completed a short film for Northland Family Help Center that was themed around the Clothesline Project which brings awareness and support for victims of domestic violence. In 2016, Ember made a film that showcased her school which advocated the value of charter school education and submitted it to The Center For Education Reform. She was awarded a $1,000 grant from them which went directly to the film department.

Ember is eager to help raise the low percentage rate of successful women directors and plans to continue to advocate for women in film.


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