Melissa Johnson is a writer and filmmaker living in Venice, California. She is known for her feature documentary, NO LOOK PASS, about a female Burmese basketball star currently airing on Showtime which won The Special Programming Award for Freedom at Outfest, Best Documentary at the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival, Best Documentary at San Francisco IndieFest and Best Documentary at the Honolulu Rainbow Film Festival. NO LOOK PASS was recently selected to participate in the highly celebrated 2014 American Film Showcase – sponsored by the U.S. State Department and The University of Southern California. Melissa traveled to Laos in September of 2014 to host screenings and workshops for The American Film Showcase.
Her popular first person essays have appeared in The New York Times, Salon.com, and Boston Herald, including the inspiration for her autobiographical animated film, LOVE IN THE TIME OF MARCH MADNESS, (co-directed with Robertino Zambrano) which smashed traffic records for Salon.com. The film had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in April 2014 where it won The Best Online Short Film Award. It has gone on to win the Audience Award at the Sydney Underground Film Festival, Best Documentary Short at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival and has been nominated for an Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AATCA) Award. The film continues to play in festivals worldwide.
Melissa recently completed a documentary for the acclaimed ESPN Nine for IX Series about 6’8’’ basketball phenomenon Brittney Griner playing her first season as a professional in China. BRITTNEY GRINER: LIFESIZE premiered in June 2014 at the Los Angeles Film Festival and began its broadcast on ESPN in July 2014.
She has directed a short named 'Webby Nominee' for BBC America as well as corporate positioning pieces for eHarmony and Green Throttle.
Her previous experience includes co-producing a 30 for 30 film for ESPN alongside John Singleton (Boyz in the Hood) about track superstar Marion Jones. As Senior Digital Producer for Comedy Central and BBC America, Melissa ran websites for hit television shows including The Colbert Report and Top Gear.
She also co-created an original web series called THE WORST SPEECHES OF ALL TIME that premiered on ComedyCentral.com in August 2009 and has garnered a million views to date.
Melissa is a 2001 cum laude graduate of Harvard University where she captained the women’s basketball team.