During her second pregnancy, Farmiga made her directorial debut in the micro-budget, Christian-themed drama Higher Ground, in which she also starred as the protagonist, Corinne Walker.  The film, which received "generally favorable reviews" on review aggregator site Metacritic, premiered at the 2011 Sundance.  Many of her family members were involved in the film's production: Farmiga's younger sister Taissa portrayed Corinne as a teenager, her husband Renn Hawkey served as a producer and musical director, and her cousin Adriana Farmiga served as an art curator. She received nominations in both acting and directing for the film, including the Gotham Award for Best Breakthrough Director, and the Satellite Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture.  In his review of the film, critic Kirk Honeycutt of The Hollywood Reporter noted: "Directing debuts by actors don't come any better than this".  Of her performance, Leonard Maltin of IndieWire remarked that Farmiga "gives an honest, empathetic performance should come as no surprise; she is one of the most gifted and daring actresses of our time". 
Vera Ann Farmiga ( / f ɑːr ˈ m iː ɡ ə / ; born August 6, 1973) is an American actress, director and producer. She began her career on Broadway in the play Taking Sides (1996). She made her television debut in the Fox fantasy series Roar (1997), and her film debut in the drama-thriller Return to Paradise (1998).
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Since 2013, she has starred in the A&E drama-thriller television series Bates Motel as Norma Louise Bates . Her performance in the role earned her the 2013 Saturn Award for Best Actress on Television ,  and nominations for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series (2013),  the Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Actress in a Drama Series (2013–15),   and the TCA Award for Individual Achievement in Drama (2013).  Farmiga has also served as an executive producer on the series since its second season.