Catherine Martin was born in Québec. She studied film and photography at Concordia University in Montréal and worked as an editor for a few years. She writes and directs all her films. Her short- and medium-length films are Odile ou réminiscences d'un voyage (1985), Nuits d'Afrique (1990), which won several awards, including the 1990 Prix André-Leroux for best medium-length film from the Association Québécoise des Critiques de Cinéma (AQCC), L'ombre (1992) and Les fins de semaine (1995). Her first documentary, Les Dames du 9e (1998), was screened at a number of international festivals and won the 1998 Prix AQCC-Telefilm Canada award for best medium-length documentary.
Martin's first dramatic feature, Mariages (Marriages) (2001), was selected for the 26th Toronto International Film Festival, the 32nd International Forum of New Cinema in Berlin, and by about 30 other international festivals. It won for best screenplay at the 25th Montréal World Film Festival and was named best Québec feature, 2001, by the AQCC. It was among Canada's Top Ten in 2001, chosen by an independent jury appointed by the Toronto International Film Festival Group.
Océan (2002), a medium-length documentary, was selected for international competition at Visions du Réel, Festival International du Cinéma Documentaire in Nyon, Switzerland, in April, 2002, and screened at a number of international festivals. It received special mention from the AQCC and was designated one of Canada's Top Ten for 2002 in Toronto.
In 2006, Catherine Martin finished two films: dans les villes (in the cities), a second dramatic feature presented at the 31st Toronto International Film Festival, the 35th Festival du Nouveau Cinéma in Montréal, and the 37th International Forum of New Cinema in Berlin; and L'esprit des lieux, her first feature-length documentary, also presented at the 31st Toronto International Film Festival, and the 37th International Forum for New Cinema, Berlin, as well as the 9th Rencontres Internationales du Documentaire in Montréal. She is currently writing the screenplay of a third dramatic feature with the working title, La flamme d'une chandelle.