Melissa Ulto Bio
Melissa Ulto is a multidisciplinary artist who utilizes modern and
traditional mediums to create her works. Melissa currently resides in
New York, working professionally as a photographer, filmmaker,
designer, VJ and artist. She has performed as a guest video artist at
the MoMA and the Brooklyn Museum of Art, and continues to show her work
internationally. She is a published writer and poet.
As a filmmaker, Melissa produces, directs, writes, shoots and edits documentaries and experimental films. She began her career in music videos and working for MTV in production. Melissa honed her documentary skills at Columbia University’s Center for New Media Teaching and Learning. As Senior Digital Video Specialist, her team was a one-stop shop, creating short and long form documentary pieces for online learning environments. In 2005, Melissa edited the film “The Art of Love & Struggle”. As a director of photography, Melissa shot for the documentary, “Art & Apathy”, on location in Israel. In 2006, Melissa edited “Death Before Dishonor”, a documentary exploring the anti-snitching movement, and “The Mighty Humble Blueberry”, a documentary about Elizabeth White. In 2007, Melissa went on tour with G Love & Special Sauce, as VJ and live video tech. In 2008, the film "Mandatory Service", for which Melissa was the director of photography, won best short at the Tribeca Film Festival. Her pieces on Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were featured on the front page of “The Huffington Post”, through her urban reporting site, UrbNews.tv. She also shot and edited over 400 pieces of webisode content for a variety of new .tv sites, including Broadway.tv.
In 2008, Melissa built a $250k full service production studio, based in the Fashion District of New York City. She produced & directed some incredible webisodes with interview subjects Arturo Vega, Ken Aretsky and many other city insiders.
In 2009, Melissa's projects included EPKs for artists, websites for docs, and WCBS spots. She edited the B Girl doc "All The Ladies Say", working closely with director Ana Rokafella Garcia. Melissa also directed and produced "From 0 to 90", a doc about Obama's first 90 days in office.
On 9.9.9, Melissa will leave New York city as part of thelifeline.tv, Team C, for 13 months on the road reporting about sustainability worldwide. She'll arrive in Buenos Aires on 10.10.10.
Melissa is also an educator, having taught seminars on democratizing media, critical thinking, social activism, vodcasting and production processes. She enjoys sharing her knowledge and experience with aspiring filmmakers. Melissa is featured in several books & documentaries, including “The VJ Book”, “Women by Women”, “Art or Something Like It”, “Video Out”, and in the upcoming book “Fresh, Bold, and So Def: Women in Hip-Hop Changing the Game”.
WiNNER Best Short Documentary
Tribeca Film Festival – 2008 – Director of Photography
“The Mighty Humble Blueberry”
WINNER Best Home Grown Short
Garden State Film Festival – 2007 –Editor/Writer/Animator
WINNER Codes Pro Media ReelHeart Award
ReelHeart International Film Festival – 2007 – Editor/Writer/Animator
Gloria Film Festival – 2007 – Editor/Writer/Animator
NJ International Film Festival – 2007 – Editor/Writer/Animator
“The Art of Love & Struggle”
Pan African Arts & Film Festival – 2008 – Editor/Writer/Animator
Hip Hop Odyssey Film Festival – 2007 – Editor/Writer/Animator
Olhares Pocket Film Festival – 2007 – Producer/Director/Editor