Melissa is currently lecturer in video (BAVI Degree) at UCOL’s School of Photography, Arts and Design in Palmerston North. As Programme Coordinator she has taken the video component of the BAVI from its inception and expanded it into a challenging and exciting course for students.
Although her specialty is documentary filmmaking, Melissa also has experience with fiction and directing actors, as evidenced in her Masters Thesis project Forbidden Harvest. Actor Simon Ferry (Out of the Blue, Aftershock, Magik & Rose) played the lead in this work-in-progress Mockumentary. Currently Melissa is seeking funding to complete Forbidden Harvest, and is also shooting a character driven documentary on local subjects in the Manawatu.
Melissa received her B.F.A. in Film Studies at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. She completed her Masters through Waikato University and Wanganui School of Design, receiving the top student award with academic distinction. Her previous films Gibtown and Living a Full House have received several awards and screenings in many film festivals including the prestigious San Francisco International Film Festival, Doctober and the South By Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival in Austin, Texas.