Josephine Massarella Artist Award – 2022 Announcement


Toronto, November 30, 2023—The Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto (LIFT) is pleased to announce that Marnie Parrell is the 2022 Josephine Massarella Artist Award Recipient. After some unexpected delays, we are thrilled to welcome Marnie to the LIFT community and look forward to supporting the creation of her new work.

The Josephine Massarella Artist Award was established in 2019 to honour the memory of Josephine Massarella, who passed away in June of 2018 after a short illness. She was an important part of the LIFT community—making three films upon returning to filmmaking after many years spent raising family and care-giving for relatives. The award assists female-identifying artists 50 years and older, who have had to step away from artistic practice for a long absence and need support in the research and creation of a first new work on their return. The award was paused due to pandemic, but we are very excited to be able to offer it again this year.

More information on the late Josephine Massarella can be found on our website here:

Marnie Parrell is a Métis filmmaker, writer, artist and maker. Parrell began making films in 1988. Since then her films and videos have been screened both nationally and internationally from Dawson City Yukon to Melbourne Australia including: YYZ Artist Outlet, Cinematheque Ontario, Winnipeg Aboriginal Film Festival, imagineNATIVE Film and New Media Festival, Hallwalls Buffalo as well as The Power Ball Toronto. Parrell has received several awards and grants including the Cynthia Licker’s Sage Award and Chalmers Arts Fellowship. Parrell’s films are hybrids—short, experimental, narratives and documentaries. Her early work utilized small gauge and low-tech including regular and super 8 film and the Fisher Price Pixelvision. Her installation work investigates how we interact with space both physically and energetically. She also has an interest in wearable electronics and found objects/art. Parrell’s work bridges the gaps between high and low tech, traditional practices and modern techniques. She completed a Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Toronto and an MFA at York University in film production where she wrote, directed and edited “The Future. It’s So Last Week,” a half hour, femsploitaction, sci-fi adventure. She also a certified yoga teacher, hypnotherapist and practicing Shaman.

“Thank you to LIFT and the Massarella family for this opportunity. I am honoured to receive this award and look forward to completing the project.”
—Marnie Parrell

The Josephine Massarella Artist Award is funded out of the Josephine Massarella Memorial Fund which was established with the help of her family. Through this fund over $8,000 has been raised, which has gone directly into funding a three year trial period for the program. Future donations will enable us to continue this project for future years. Anyone interested in making a donation to continue this award beyond the first three years can make a tax deductible charitable donation to the fund via . Every dollar raised will directly support the recipients of the award. 

The Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto (LIFT) is Canada’s foremost artist-run production and education organization dedicated to celebrating excellence in the moving image. LIFT exists to provide support and encouragement for independent filmmakers and artists through affordable access to production, post-production and exhibition equipment; professional and creative development; workshops and courses; commissioning and exhibitions; artist residencies; and a variety of other services. LIFT is supported by its membership, Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, Ontario Trillium Foundation, Ontario Arts Foundation, the Government of Ontario and the Toronto Arts Council.


For additional information please see or e-mail LIFT Executive Director Chris Kennedy at


Thursday 30 November 2023 –


Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto (LIFT) 
1137 Dupont Street 
Toronto Ontario