Image Desciption : Fair skinned woman smiling at camera with long golden curly/wavy hair. Woman is wearing grey and black striped long sleeve shirt with brick background .
Melissa Jane Kielbus is a Deaf filmmaker from the United States. She graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology in 2013 with a Bachelors of Fine Arts for Film and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a minor in Deaf Cultural Studies. She has also obtained a Performing Arts certificate from the NTID department. An avid cinematographer, she is licensed to film underwater with the PADI underwater videography certification. She is currently working as the Production Specialist at Motion Light Lab at Gallaudet University, and is the Digital Media Director for Copper & Water, LLC. She also does freelance work, doing projects with several different companies and start-up businesses on the side.
She started pursuing film as a passion since she was a 5th grader in New Mexico School for the Deaf, and has always created through the medium of film since then. As a high school senior, she helped establish “Talon News” at California School for the Deaf, Fremont. Shortly after graduating from RIT, she premiered her short, “Oblivion” in several Deaf film festivals. Her latest short film, “The Pastman” has been selected in over 10 film festivals internationally, winning several awards. In an ideal world, more recognition for deaf and female filmmakers would have already happened– MJ hopes that this will be the case sooner rather than later.