Filmmaker Bios

Melissa Finell (writer/director) is a filmmaker based in Los Angeles. Currently an MFA candidate in film directing at UCLA, Finell has received the Hollywood Foreign Press Association Directing Award, the MPAA Award, and her upcoming thesis film has just been selected for an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation production grant. Mel’s first short film “No Direction” premiered at Frameline 2011 and continued on to screen at numerous festivals around the globe. Originally from New York, Melissa 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, Mel worked on numerous productions such as Sex and the City 2, Gossip Girl, HBO’s How to Make it in America, and Ringer. Melissa was an associate producer of Madeleine Olnek’s award-winning feature Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same, which premiered at Sundance 2011. Mel’s first feature film, entitled Sensitivity Training will begin production in August 2014.

Soraya Sélène(Cinematographer) is a Los Angeles based, and New York City bred, cinematographer who has accumulated numerous short and feature credits. She received her MFA in Directing & Cinematography at UCLA School of Theater, Film & Television, and also studied at the Global Cinematography Institute. In addition to narrative films, Soraya also shoots documentary, commercial and music video projects. Soraya is the recipient of the KODAK Scholarship Program Award, Hollywood Foreign Press Award, CINE Golden Eagle Special Jury Award, Mary Pickford Award for Excellence in Documentary Filmmaking, Herman Kass Prize in Motion Picture Production, Motion Picture Association of America Award, and Edie and Lew Wasserman Film Production Fellowship Award.

Richard H. Perry (Production Designer) has worked as an Art Director for NBC, MTV, FOX, BBC America, Spike, SYFY among others. Designing and building a Manhattan apartment with hurricane special effects for “Disaster Preparedness” is his proudest production design job thus far. He is currently prepping his film directing MFA thesis project at UCLA. Perry has received awards from the Motion Picture Association of America, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and the UCLA Board of Regents. Married, Perry works and lives in Los Angeles.

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