In her breakout film, Beauty Lies, Chapman explores her feelings about natural hair as a black woman in a media-driven world, revealing layers of insecurities. The film premiered at the Vancouver Student Film Festival, winning the Knowledge Network’s BC Perspective Award. In 2011, Karen completed a Self-Directed Residency in filmmaking at the Banff Centre and graduated from Emily Carr University with a Bachelor of Media Arts.

In September 2013, Karen won Best Pitch at the CaribbeanTales Pitch Incubator held at the Toronto International Film Festival for her film Cocoon, where she explored themes of rage, family secrets and life after violent trauma. In 2015 Karen won the HotDocs documentary Channel Doc Accelerator Scholarship, where she is developing a point of view documentary film based on her explorations. Her latest film, a dance dreamscape entitled Rise screened during the 2015 Toronto Urban Film Festival. And her short Patriarchy, a vérité–animation hybrid and is being broadcasted as part of the CBC’s Canadian Reflection Program.