© Burkett Photography
Melissa Beatriz is a documentary filmmaker, media artist, ethnographer, and writer based in Philadelphia. She uses storytelling as a tool to collectively share counter narratives, produce cultural work, and support organizing. Her projects focus on social justice, the arts, and deconstructing policy/power. Since 2010, she has collaborated with grassroots groups and media arts organizations, with roles in communications, development, community engagement, film programming, teaching, and production. Some of these organizations include Taller Puertorriqueño, Media Mobilizing Project (MMP), Scribe Video Center, BlackStar Film Festival, PHL Latino Film Festival, and the Reentry Think Tank.
Melissa is currently directing the documentary film La Lucha Sigue/The Fight Continues, which centers the immigrant justice movement and #ShutDownBerks campaign in the region. She is a recipient of the Doc Society Good Pitch Local Philadelphia Grant, as well as the Leeway Foundation Transformation Award (2019), Art & Change Grant (2019, 2019), and Window of Opportunity Grant (2017). She was a Double Exposure Investigative Film Festival Scholar (2018) and an MMP Movement Media Fellow (2014).
She has a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Pennsylvania, with a focus on macro-level policy. She is currently a joint Research Fellow/PhD student in the Communication and Social Welfare programs at Penn, and both utilizes and teaches visual ethnography as a research method..