Talent Guide

Melissa Finell

  • Discipline:Director
  • Program Year:Project Involve 2015


Melissa Finell is an award-winning writer-director based in Los Angeles. Currently an MFA candidate in Film Directing at UCLA, Finell is in post-production on her first feature film Sensitivity Training, which was awarded an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Production Grant. Finell’s most recent short film Disaster Preparedness premiered at Palm Springs International ShortFest, where it was named an Audience Favorite and screened in the prestigious “Best of the Fest” program at the end of the festival. The film also played at Mill Valley Film Festival and Frameline and was selected for “Best of Fest” at Outfest. Disaster Preparedness was also selected by an industry jury to screen at UCLA’s Directors’ Spotlight at the DGA and won a directing award from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Finell’s earlier short film No Direction premiered at Frameline 2011 and continued on to screen at NewFest, LA Shorts Fest and numerous other festivals around the globe. Originally from New York, Finell received her B.A. in Women?s Studies at Smith College and studied sketch comedy writing at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater. Before beginning film school at UCLA, Finell worked on numerous productions such as Sex and the City 2, Gossip Girl, The Son of No One starring Al Pacino, HBO’s How to Make it in America, and Ringer. Finell was an associate producer of Madeleine Olnek’s award-winning feature Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same, which premiered at Sundance 2011. In 2014, Finell was named a Film Independent Project Involve Fellow in directing.