Wholly Cinema: How did you end up hiring your main actress, Emma Bonikowsky, for the film?
Nathan Douglas (Writer / Director): When we first auditioned Emma for a previous film, she just walked in the room and we knew immediately that she was different from everyone else. She just has that presence that I’m looking for where I can read so many possibilities from just one of her expressions which is want you love to see in an actor. I don’t think it’s that common to find so when it happens you just sit upright and notice. She wasn’t right for that particular film but I couldn’t stop thinking of that audition so I wrote “La Cartographe” for her. I’m so excited for her that she’ll be coming to Locarno as well to represent the film especially since it’s her first film role.
With her work described as “subtle”, “layered”, “lovely” and “honest”, Emma is a master of acting between and beyond lines of dialogue to draw the audience into the believable, complex and enticing characters that she creates.
In Emma’s most prominent role to date - lead in the short film “La Cartographe”, which premiered at the prestigious Locarno Film Festival in Switzerland and subsequently showed at a number of other festivals including the Vancouver International Film Festival and the Festival du Nouveau Cinéma where it was a Jury Special Mention - her work in the moody, atmospheric film was described as "sublime" and "poetically contemplative" (click here to read more from writer / director Nathan Douglas).
Flourishing in indie, thought provoking roles, Emma’s range extends from wholesome girl next door - art imitating life there for the straight-A high school valedictorian – to horror/thriller genre “girl with a dark secret”, where her youthful, innocent appearance allows her to really hit the mark and enjoy playing a character so opposite from her usual cheerful self. With a solid work ethic and a kindness towards all that comes naturally, Emma is a great collaborator, leaving a strong, positive connection with everyone she meets.
Emma was born in Minnesota but grew up in a small town surrounded by mountains east of Vancouver before moving to the city (yes, that means dual citizenship!). For someone who loves the outdoors, hiking, snowboarding, and swimming in frigid rivers have been and continue to be enjoyable pastimes.