Melody Gilbert

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Melody Gilbert
Born St. Paul, Minnesota
Residence Chicago, Illinois
Occupation Independent documentary filmmaker

Melody Gilbert is an award-winning independent documentary filmmaker, and educator from St. Paul, Minnesota now stationed in Chicago, Illinois.[1][2][3][4][5] Her work is noteworthy for featuring a rare intimacy with her subjects as she unearths previously hidden worlds. She works mostly solo, querying her subjects from behind the camera, giving the voice to ordinary people with extraordinary stories. She has Directed, Filmed, Produced, and sometimes Edited, five independent feature-length documentaries since 2002. The Documentary Channel calls her "one of the most fearless filmmakers in contemporary documentary cinema."


Ms. Gilbert enjoyed a long career as an award-winning television news producer and reporter, working at television stations in Washington, D.C, New York, Wisconsin, California, Florida and Minnesota, including Twin Cities Public Television (TPT), KSTP-TV and WCCO-TV.[6] Her specialty was investigative reporting as well as covering the arts. In 1996, Ms. Gilbert started teaching broadcast journalism and documentary production at the University of Minnesota's School of Journalism and continues to teach documentary through workshops and classes. She has also taught at Carleton College, IFP, College of Visual Arts, Walker Art Center and in Romania and Kyrgyzstan. She was also Assistant Professor at the American University in Bulgaria located in Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria. She is an advisory board member of IFP Minnesota Center for Media Arts, was a founding member of Minnesota Women in Film and Television, and is founder and President of Minnesota DocuClub.[6] In 2001, she formed her own company, Frozen Feet Films, and has been an independent director/producer since. She has also received several fellowships and grants from Minnesota State Arts Board, The Jerome Foundation and the McKnight Artist Fellowship for filmmakers.


Awards and recognition[edit]

Gilbert received regional Emmys as producer on Our Bodies/Ourselves (2000) (TPT),[7] and for Battered Lives (1996) (WCCO). She received the American Women in Radio and Television (AWRT) national award for best series for Defying Tradition: Hmong Teen Brides. Her short documentary Jamie Butcher Dies at Home was shown on ABC's Prime Time Live. She has also won a national award from Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) for Toxic testing, a short documentary about how the U.S. government sprayed citizens of Minneapolis with toxic chemicals in the 1950s. The documentary prompted an investigation led by the late U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone. Her documentaries have been the official selections of festivals SXSW, idfa, Chicago International Documentary Festival, Los Angeles Film Festival, Thessaloniki Documentary Festival, Montreal World Film Festival, Florida Film Festival, Someone to Watch at San Francisco Doc Fest, Best Feature at Boston Underground Film Festival, and won Best of Fest at Hot Docs. Her documentary The Starfish Throwers, named "the most heartwarming documentary of 2014" by the Huffington Post. Melody is also the executive producer of American Heart (2013), the co-director of Steps in the Fire (2014), the first 3D documentary in Bulgaria, and the producer/writer of Women Outward Bound (2016).

Additional sources[edit]


  1. ^ Maerz, Melissa (September 10, 2003). "Final Cut Pro: With 'Whole,' Twin Cities-based filmmaker Melody Gilbert discovers less is more". Citypages. Retrieved 2009-06-02. 
  2. ^ Kerr, Euan (March 16, 2007). "Melody Gilbert's trip "Into the Darkness"". Minnesota Public Radio. Retrieved 2009-06-02. 
  3. ^ Cisar, Katjusa (March 19, 2008). "WFF2008: Interview with "Urban Explorers" filmmaker Melody Gilbert". Retrieved 2009-06-02. 
  4. ^ "Melody Gilbert". Minnesota Stories. March 3, 2006. Retrieved 2009-06-02. 
  5. ^ "Iterview with Melody Gilbert". Film Click. 2008. Retrieved 2009-06-02. 
  6. ^ a b "Melody Gilbert official bio". Darn Good Documentaries. Retrieved 2009-06-02. 
  7. ^ Rasmussen, Brianne (November 3, 2000). "U journalism students fare well at first Minnesota Emmy Awards". Minnesota Daily. Retrieved 2009-06-02. 
  8. ^ Weinberg, Scott. "SXSW '05 Interview: 'A Life Without Pain' Director Melody Gilbert". eFilmCritic. Retrieved 2009-06-03. 
  9. ^ "Melody Gilbert - Documentary Filmmaker". Rift Magazine. February 4, 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-03. 
  10. ^ Kerr, Euan (March 16, 2007). "Melody Gilbert's trip "Into the Darkness"". Minnesota Public Radio. Retrieved 2009-06-03. 

External links[edit]