Blessed with the gift to visually transform any setting, storyteller artist and filmmaker Emma Westenberg crafts cinematic creations imbued with a happy-go-lucky and whimsical aesthetic.
Graduated from the renowned Rietveld Academy and the Cooper Union School of Art in NYC, the director received a special distinction ‘cum laude’ for her short film ‘The Still Life of Estelle’ (2014) – which she wrote, directed, produced and art directed. Soon after she picked up an award at the Milano Fashion Film Festival for her short film ‘Blue and You’ (2016). Her first steps that would really define Emma as a filmmaker were a diverse set of projects, ranging from commercial work for the likes of ASOS and Vogue to short films and music videos. Her big breakthrough being the viral sensation PYNK (2018) for Janelle Monae, which earned Emma a Grammy and MTV Music Video Award-nomination. The same year she directed her first Super Bowl spot featuring Zoe Kravitz. Since then various star-studded projects have followed, including celebrated music videos for the likes of Troye Sivan, Princess Nokia and Rico Nasty alongside directing Kendall Jenner for Vogue and Rebel Wilson for Olly.
“Bleeding Love,” Emma’s debut feature film starring Ewan McGregor and his daughter Clara McGregor, premiered at SXSW in March 2023. The narrative centers on a father who, recognizing his daughter’s inherited addiction issues, secretly takes her to rehab following an overdose, all while he has established a new family elsewhere. Vertical Entertainment acquired the distribution rights in December 2023 and set the film for a theatrical release in the United States on February 16, 2024.
Meanwhile, Emma skillfully juggles her diverse projects in fashion, music, and fiction. She’s currently working on her second feature film, “Angels,” with HALAL—a queer musical and dance film described as “Romeo and Romeo.” Additionally, she is collaborating with a Mexican production house on a horror film set on a tropical island. Westenberg particularly enjoys ‘world building,’ the process of creating unique universes through visuals, color, and music. Inspired by Fassbinder, who likened his oeuvre to a house with each film representing a different room, Emma aims to produce a wide variety of films, embracing this multifaceted approach.