Cornelia Principe was born in Canada. She finishedher education at York University and Jarvis Collegiate Institute in Toronto, Ontario.
Career in Film Industry
Cornelia began her career as a broadcaster and, later on, bloomed to occupy the role of independent director and producer, leaving a milestone for the many aspiring women in the field of entertainment and media. With a career covering 20 years, she has brought critical acclaim and earned an eternal place in the Canadian Film Industry. During 1993-97, she worked as the Assistant Producer of social-political documentary strands The View From Here and Human Edge for TVOntario. She had the opportunity of working with many distinguished professionals during the early phase of her career, which eventually paved the way for the unmistakable essence of originality in her work. She had worked with Producer cum Director Sun-Kyung Yi as co-producer for his film Divorce What I See, which premiered at Hot Docs 2001, and also worked on critically acclaimed documentaries namely: A Child's Century of War, which got shortlisted for the Oscars and Legacy of Terror with Emmy award-winning Producer cum Director Shelley Saywell. Cornelia worked along with producer Andrea Nemtinin co-production with the NFB on the documentaryPoverty, Chastity, Obedience, where she donned the role of the director as well as the co-producer. She was also a part of PTV Productions, where she was producer to the series Resolutions for Discovery Health and The Life Channel.
The 23rd Gemini award-winning best documentary series Diamond Road was co-produced by Cornelia for TVOntario, History Television, Discovery Times and Arte/ZDF. She also worked alongside director Matt Gallagher, her husband, as the writer for his documentary “Grinders”, which was screened at Hot Docs 2011 festival. The work which brought Cornelia critical acclaim and success was the feature documentary The World Before Her directed by filmmaker NishaPahuja, where she worked as a producer alongsideEd Barreveld in collaboration with Storyline Entertainment for ZDF/Arte. This documentary was a critical success and was well received by critics winning 20 awards including the best documentary at Tribeca, Hot Docs and Michael Moore's festival in Traverse City. It was also voted as one of the top ten documentaries of Canada by the Toronto International Film Festival 2012 and was nominated for Best Theatrical Documentary at the Canadian Screen Awards. In 2014, the documentary won the nomination for an Emmy Award and was part of the Sundance Film Forward Program.
She founded Border City Pictures along with Matt Gallagher and produced numerous award-winning documentaries such as her directorial success The Motherload, which brought her to stardom and earned her numerous awards at International Film/TV Festiva in Chicago and the Worldfest Houston Festival. She had also donned the role of a professor at Centennial College, where she taught a course on documentary production. She is now working alongside her husband on the documentary How To Prepare For Prison for TVO and a short documentary for BravoFactual titled Tilting At Windmills.
Cornelia and Matt Gallagher married on March 15, 2010. Matt Gallagher is an award-winning filmmaker, having produced many critically acclaimed documentaries earning three Gemini nominations for his documentaries, a Chalmers Award and the Best of the Festival at the Yorkton Film Festival.Cornelia previously had three miscarriages before her daughter Audrey was born, when she was over 40 years old. She now resides in Toronto with her husband and six-year-old daughter Audrey.