I am an independent filmmaker, who works across narrative film, documentary and commercials and music videos. Regardless of the form, I am passionate about telling rich and diverse stories about people often unrepresented on our screens – people who live on the fringes, either financially, socially, psychologically or culturally, of the mainstream, to try and portray them in all of their beautiful complexity.
Being a first generation Greek-Cypriot migrant, who identifies as queer, I do have a unique perspective that I bring to my work based on my own lived experiences and the lived experiences of the communities I’ve been part of.
In approaching the development of work, I continue to find and refine my process of casting a combination of skilled and unskilled actors and workshopping my ideas to put them through the paces and come up with work that is collaborative and authentic.
Melissa is an award-winning writer/director who works across multiple disciplines including; film, documentary, music video and commercials. Melissa’s short films have screened worldwide at major international film festivals including; Uppsala, Tampere, Cannes Cinema Antipodes, St Tropez, Oldenburg, Brisbane International, Flickerfest, and New Directors New York. Melissa was awarded an ADG award for her short film By this River, which also won the EU Film Award. Whilst undertaking postgraduate studies at AFTRS, Melissa was awarded a Kenneth B Myer Scholarship for Creative Excellence, and later received the AFTRS Creative Fellowship. Melissa also received support through the Screen Australia Hot Shots Initiative for her short film Sleepwalking, and received the Lexus Sydney Film Festival Fellowship for her most recent film Chlorine.
As a writer, Melissa’s feature film screenplays have been shortlisted for the Sundance Lab, and previously selected for the Binger FilmLab in Amsterdam. She is currently developing the feature screenplay Bluebirds with support from Screen Australia and Screen NSW.
Unruly Hearts (UH) is the banner under which Melissa directs and produces online content, from commercials and promos through to commissioned documentaries.