Director, Producer, Cinematographer, Editor


Melissa Donovan has worked in the commercial, independent and documentary world as a cinematographer for over 15 years, having earned a Kodak Cinematography Award and recently having earned Best Cinematography and Best Documentary Awards from various film festivals.


A native of Boston, Melissa started her career as a camera assistant to many well-known filmmakers, including Robert Richardson and Carolyn Chen.  She went on to work as a cinematographer and most recently the Director and Cinematographer of her own feature length documentary, Zemene, which has won Best Cinematography, Best Editing, and Best Documentary at the 2014 Boston Film Festival, the Interfaith Documentary Award at the 2014 St. Louis International Film Festival, and Best of the Festival at the 2014 Chagrin Documentary Film Festival,2014 St. Louis International Film Festival, and Best of the Festival at the 2014 Chagrin Documentary Film Festival, the Best Feature Documentary at San Luis Obispo International Film Festival and the Audience Award for Best Emerging Filmmaker at the LA Jewish Film Festival.


Melissa also served as the Director of Photography on the Peabody Award winning documentary, Between the Folds, directed by Vanessa Gould and An Unreasonable Man, produced by Henriette Mantel and Steve Skrovan and aired on Independent Lens.  Additional credits include Director of Photography on the PBS nationally aired series, Vine Talk hosted by Stanley Tucci, including other PBS multi-camera productions, including Finding Billy ElliotA Tale of Two Cities and Jesus and the Awakening to God-Consciousness with Deepak Chopra.


In addition, Melissa’s commercial campaign credits includes work for Kmart, Stonyfield Yogurt, Herbal Essence, Oxygen Channel and the Cartoon Network.  She has also worked as Camera Operator on the feature film Lift, directed by DeMane Davis and Khari Streeter and staring Kerry Washington and on commercials for Verizon, Panasonic and Mountain Dew.  Other corporate clients include the Harvard Business School Club of New York City, Details Magazine, KPMG, AOL, the Philharmonic, John Hancock and TV Guide.


Melissa lives in New York City, where she continues her work in cinematography.  She looks forward to sharing Zemene to wider audiences throughout the world as she continues to document and raise greater awareness of social issues, which have traditionally plagued underserved worldwide populations.

To see more of Melissa's work, visit


Contact Melissa at


Film Stills

Interview with Melissa Donovan, Sarasota Film Festival 2015