Biography

 Photo: Sheila Roldan 

Photo: Sheila Roldan 

Melanie La Rosa is a filmmaker, producer, and educator based in New York City. Her work centers thematically on showcasing courageous individuals who, through virtue of their personal choices, become pioneers and leaders influencing larger social movements. Her career also has had an unswerving focus on media for social change.

Her most recent documentary is The Poetry Deal: a film with Diane di Prima, about the most famous woman writer of the Beat Generation. The project began after Melanie encountered di Prima’s work through her memoir Recollections of My Life As a Woman. Deeply moved by the depth, richness, and pulse of the story, Melanie found a way to meet Diane, and they started a dialogue that resulted in a collaborative film. A portrait, The Poetry Deal is a homage to poetry, rebellion, and artistic integrity. Melanie's first documentary, Sir: Just a Normal Guy, screened to acclaim at LGBTQ film festivals and events worldwide. She has also produced high-impact media including engagement events for NPR and PBS programs, and developed programs and secured resources for organizations using media for positive social impact.  

Melanie has made several short films and worked on many feature length documentaries as crew in roles such as cinematographer, editor, and post supervisor. Her work has been recognized with support from the New York State Arts Council, the Eastman Fund, the Brooklyn Arts Council, and The Puffin Foundation. She is currently filming How To Power A City, about wind and solar power integrating into urban areas.  

Melanie has an MFA from Temple University and a BA from the University of Michigan. She teaches media production at Pace University, and has also taught at Hunter College, DCTV, Marymount Manhattan College and Long Island University. She grew up near Lansing, Michigan.