Born in Canada, Melanie spent most of her life growing up in China and attending local Chinese schools—before China’s warp speed entry into modernity.
In 2002 she combined her Asian Studies background with filmmaking by producing the gritty documentary “The Last Breadbox”, her first collaboration with Sam Voutas in China. She found herself drawn back for her second documentary, “Shanghai Bride”, which won the 2003 Australian International Documentary Conference’s Pitch n’ Punt to garner funding from ABC Australia and CBC Canada. The film was distributed internationally and debated fiercely in China, from TV stations to local film salons, for its controversial depiction of gender politics.
Since moving back to China, she has directed two feature length horrors, freelanced with networks such as HBO, NBC, the Discovery Channel, and conducted over a dozen workshops on film producing for Chinese media organizations. She enjoys finding overlooked yet humorous Chinese stories that can be told in unexpected and unconventional ways.