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Melanie La Rosa

Melanie has worked in the production of documentaries to some capacity since 1996. Aside from directing, her numerous roles have included that of producer, director of photography, 2nd unit camera, associate producer, and assistant editor. She currently teaches documentary filmmaking at Hunter College, and workshops for professionals at Downtown Community Television. She has also taught at Long Island University/C.W. Post.

Before becoming a filmmaker, Melanie worked actively with human and civil rights groups for a decade, absorbing experiences that would one day become central themes for her films. She has an M.F.A in Film and Media Arts from Temple University and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Michigan.

Melanie is currently releasing THE POETRY DEAL: A FILM WITH DIANE DI PRIMA, an impressionistic documentary about the life and work of poet Diane di Prima. The first film ever about di Prima, THE POETRY DEAL was made collaboratively with this unique writer. In a visual celebration of poetry, THE POETRY DEAL focuses on themes of artistic integrity, rebellion, and imagination and includes rare archival footage, impressionistic scenes shot in Super8 and 16mm, and interviews with di Prima and her friends and colleagues.

Melanie’s first film, SIR: JUST A NORMAL GUY, premiered at the 2001 New Festival, followed by a worldwide screening at over 30 film festivals and community events. Her short films, RISK (2004), SCHUYLKILL DRAGONS (2003), UNITED STATES OF AUTOMOBILES (2002), and NO SAFE PLACE (2001) all screened at local, national, and international film festivals.

Other independent films in which Melanie has worked on (not in the role of director) include: "The Axe in the Attic" (Dirs. Ed Pincus and Lucia Small, 2007- New York Film Festival); "Stigma" (Dir. Tchaiko Omawale, 2005 - Provincetown Int’l Film Festival); and "Silent Choices" (Dir., Faith Pennick, 2007 - Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Festival).

Melanie is currently developing a new project about wind power in New York City. (3/12)


The Poetry Deal: A Film with Diane di Prima
A film by Melanie La Rosa, 2011, 27 min., Color

She remains the most famous woman poet of the Beat Generation; her friend Allen Ginsberg called her “heroic in life and poetics.” THE POETRY DEAL is ...

Sir: Just a Normal Guy
A film by Melanie La Rosa, 2001, 57 min., Color

Screened to acclaim at Gay & Lesbian Film Festivals worldwide and LBGT events across the nation, this candid and courageous portrait of more than 15-m...



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