Melinda Levin | Department of Media Arts

Melinda Levin

Documentary Production, International, Environmental, Multi-platform Production, Interdisciplinary, Ethnography, Cultural Analysis
Melinda Levin

Melinda Levin is a documentary filmmaker along with being a Professor in UNT's Department of Media Arts.

Working primarily in the documentary mode, Levin has produced, directed, edited and shot documentaries in the U.S. and abroad, including North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Her works have screened on PBS and broadcast outlets worldwide, and at New York's Museum of Modern Art, The San Francisco Art Museum, The Society for Applied Anthropology, The American Anthropology Association, and The Society for Cinema and Media Studies, as well as several U.S. Embassies, theatres and broadcast outlets worldwide.

Professor Levin holds a competitive fellowship with the MIT Enterprise Forum in Cambridge, Massachusetts. This appointment is in support of her work as founder of a startup company (based in Boston) that is designing a web application for location-based reporting and storytelling.

Levin has served the U.S. Department of State as part of the U.S. Speakers Bureau, and traveled as a citizen artist ambassador to Autonomous Region of Norther Afghanistan, Tajikstan, Thailand, and Vietnam. She is past president of the University Film and Video Association, the premiere academic organization for media producers and scholars in the United States, and is currently serving as past president of the University Film and Video Foundation, a non-profit organization that includes oversight of the international Eastman Kodak Film Scholarship and other academic/industry partnerships. Professor Levin serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Film and Video, and has served as North American Delegate to the International Association of Film and Television Schools in Spain and China. She was selected as one of 19 documentary directors to take part in the American Documentary Showcase, a U.S. State Department program that places American documentaries in U.S. embassies worldwide.

Professor Levin held the UNT Institute for the Advancement of the Arts Fellowship in spring 2017, and will begin creating a new, multi-platform web production. MIDDLESEX: 42.°N, 71.°W is a geographically-based, multi-platform documentary based in Concord, Massachusetts, and will be directed alongside the design of an internet portal for location-based documentary production. Production will be anchored in an area of historical and cultural imporance: Walden Pond, the first battle of the American Revolutionary War, and home to Thoreau, Emerson, Hawthorne, the Alcotts, John Quincy Adams, and others. This documentary will analyze ecological, artistic, and cultural trends in this historically dense area of the United States.

She is a contributor to a book on interdisciplinary scholarship, Sushi in Cortez: Essays from Mesa Verde, published by the University of Utah Press in 2015. Levin is currently in post-production on a co-directed documentary shot in Mongolia, about social and climate change in this harsh landscape. Mongolian Chronicles will conclude principal photography in 2017. Levin is completing direction on Cuban Earth, shot in Havana and Pinar del Río, Cuba. This film documents an urban performing arts troupe in rural Cuba. Professor Levin has been invited by the Cuban government to consult on best practices for independent documentary filmmaking, and will be traveling back to Cuba in 2017 to give intensive seminars in Havana. She co-edited a special issue on film and anthropology for the Journal of Film and Video, and her book, Post: Theory and Technique of Digital, Nonlinear Motion Picture Editing, co-authored with Fred P. Watkins, was published by Allyn and Bacon/Longman Press. Recent productions include River Planet, an international documentary about the Amazon, Danube, Los Angeles, Mekong and Rio Grande rivers, The New Frontier: Sustainable Ranching in the American West, and The Mayan Dreams of Chan Kom, shot in a traditional Mayan village in Mexico.

Professor Levin takes pride in her international study abroad programs, and has taken university students to Argentina, Chile, Cuba, England, Myanmar (Burma) and Thailand.

Degrees: Master of Fine Arts in Video and Film from the University of Oklahoma, Master of Science in RTVF from the University of North Texas, and Bachelor of Science in Film from Montana State University.