Michelle Melles

Introduction (2-3 lines)

Michelle Melles (she/her) is a Canadian-American filmmaker, producer, story editor, and writer based in Toronto. A fierce believer that the personal is in dialogue with the political and that multidimensional storytelling has the power to transform our world, Michelle Melles has been creating social issues documentaries for over twenty years.

Michelle Melles (she/her) is a seasoned director, writer and producer with a background in independent documentary media, non-fiction television, and magazine journalism. She has worked for some of the top broadcasters and television shows in Canada, produced and directed numerous short TV documentaries that have been nationally broadcast and internationally-distributed. Under her banner Parallel Vision Pictures, she seeks to tell independent, multidimensional and engaging stories that challenge preconceived ideas and offer unique ways of perceiving the world. She received the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council grant (SSHRC, 2020) from the Canadian Government for her work in documentary filmmaking and transformative mental health; holds a M.F.A. in Documentary Media from Toronto Metropolitan University (summa cum laude, Gold Medal, 2021). Drunk on Too Much Life is Michelle's first feature length documentary film.

Michelle began her career producing, directing, and story-editing the internationally-syndicated, nationally broadcast and critically-acclaimed Canadian docu-series SexTV (1999-2010). This ground-breaking, multiple Gemini nominated and Gemini-award winning docu-series explored issues surrounding sexuality and gender around the world in a thought-provoking and cutting-edge way. She produced numerous documentaries for the show's ten season run focusing on strong and complicated female characters and the complexity of sexual and gender expression in the modern world. Notable documentaries during this period are: Intersexuality: Redefining Sex (2000) examines the medical ethics of surgically altering children born Intersex; Sex, Love & Race: A Legacy of Slavery in America (2001) (shot just before 9/11 in Louisiana and Mississippi) explores the impact of slavery on African American relationships and interracial relationships; Unnatural Selection: Eugenics in North America (2005) investigates the Eugenics movement through the story of Leilani Muir (1944-2016) who was sterilized without her consent at the Provincial Training School for Mental Defectives in Alberta, Canada; Quiverfull - Shunned From God’s Army (2008) examines The Quiverfull movement in the United States through the story of one its key excommunicated and now feminist female leaders; and Sister Wives: Born into Polygamy (2008) tells the story of the oldest and youngest sister wives who fled from their husband and their Mexican Mormon compound to gain freedom in the U.S.

New Day Films by Michelle Melles

Awards & Accolades

Rendezvous With Madness Film Festival (Closing Night Film), Toronto, 2021
International Social Change Film Festival, Chicago, Atlanta, 2022
Koyama Press Provides Grant, 2022
The Gold Medal, The Creative School, X-Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada. 2021
Social Sciences Humanities Research Council Grant, Canada, 2020
Quarter Finalist, ReelAbilities Film Festival, New York, NY, 2022
Will be broadcast on TVO (TVOntario), 2022 - 2026
Get Reel Film Festival, Toronto, 2021, 2022
Toronto Indie Filmmakers Festival, Honorable Mention, 2022
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