TorinoFilmLab - Training, development, Funding

Melisa Önel

Melisa Önel


Scriptwriter, Film Director


ScriptLab - projects Participant 2019


Melisa Önel was born in Izmir in 1980. After studying International Relations at Tufts University, she kept on studying Film Studies at Istanbul Bilgi University. A filmmaker and a photographer, Önel is a member of the photographers’ initiative RecCollective, a collective that publishes limited edition artist books and organizes gatherings.

In the past years, her work has been exhibited in Galeri NEV (Ankara-2018) Monomit exhibition, Versus galery, Gleanors Exhibition (2016), İstanbul Modern (Turkey-2011), Musee du quai Branly (Paris), Almeida Foundation (Portugal), etc. She has collaborated with the Turkish theater director Yeşim Özsoy in two of her plays, making video installations.

The third collaboration was commissioned for the in Maxim Gorki Theatre, Berlin, a play by Yeşim Özsoy, THE HAUTED HOUSE.

Her work has been published in “Future Images” 24Ore Motto Cultura Publications (Milan) “Creative Review” (UK), “Contemporary Graphic Design” by Taschen and other national magazines.

Her debut film SEABURNERS (Kumun Tadı) which she co-produced and directed premiered at the 64th International Berlin Film Festival, Forum Section. The film had attended the İf Sundance İstanbul lab and was awarded the “Agora Work in Progress Post-Production Award” at the Thessaloniki Film Festival.
Her first short film OMEGA FOX (2007) was selected to the Hisar Short Film Selection, a collection of the ten best short films of the year in Turkey. Her medium length documentary ME AND NURI BALA (2009) received Best First Documentary award at the 46th Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival and is screened in foundations and in universities regarding gender issues.
In 2008 she completed the Greenhouse Documentary Development Program as a Producer.
She recently worked on a short film called COASTLINERS, an omnibus project commissioned by the EU Human Rights commission in Turkey. Her film is a short length, dance film based on the Choreography of Tuğçe Tuna’s “Dance in different Bodies”.