Melissa is a filmmaker and editor. She made her directing and producing debut with the documentary My Knees Were Jumping; Remembering The Kindertransports, which was short-listed for Academy Award nomination, and was seen in festivals, on television, and in Universities worldwide. Melissa’s video Venus was featured in the gallery exhibit “Objects of Devotion and Desire: Medieval Relic to Contemporary Art,” and it received accolades in the New York Times review. Her three-channel video Letters Home screened at Stranger than Fiction, and the NY, Washington DC, and Toronto Jewish Film Festivals. Melissa is currently directing Ex Libris, an animated documentary on her Austrian grandfather’s life and bookplate collection. Awards received include a Fulbright Artist-in-Residence award in Vienna, and residencies at Yaddo, VCCA, Playa, Willapa Bay AIR, Escape to Create, Saltonstall, Digital Arts Studios, Belfast NI, and Millay.
Melissa edited the Academy Award-nominated documentaries Sister Rose’s Passion and The Collector of Bedford Street, episodes of MTV’s True Life, National Geographic tv, ABC’s Turning Point, was an editor on The Endurance: Shackleton’s Legendary Antarctic Expedition for Britain’s Channel 4 (2 BAFTA noms), and edited Beyond Conviction, a feature documentary on restorative justice featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show. Melissa is also a wandering professor, most recently at Montclair State University in New Jersey and Yangon Film School in Myanmar.
“The Bookplate Project” is a documentary film incorporating animation, collage, and first-person narrative tracing the vanished world of the ex libris collection that Melissa’s grandfather commissioned, created, and lost in Vienna between the two world wars
“Ex Libris” will explore the intimate, intricate, universe Marco Birnholz created in his collection, and the exploding world he recorded in his diaries.
If you could break something, what would it be?
“the new normal”