Resume

Professional Experience

2020

Libertad Documentary

Lead Editor and Lead Post Production Producer

Alejandra Santiago is an indigenous transgender woman who suffered poverty, family and sexual abuse in her hometown of Oaxaca, Mexico. She decided her best option was to flee to the US and begin a new chapter in her life. This transformation and self-healing process happened in the span of 30 years where she rebuilt the relationship with her mother in a liminal space, she found a "spiritual mother" in her colleague Dr. Jennifer Hastings and she found a sense of purpose supporting LGBTQ and immigrant groups and educating the medical community.

2019

A La Calle Documentary

Additional Editor

Assisted the Lead Editor with editing scenes, story structure, sharpening existing scenes, selecting materials for upcoming scenes. 

A La Calle is a firsthand account of the extraordinary efforts of ordinary Venezuelans to reclaim their democracy from the dictatorship of Nicolás Maduro, whose corrupt and brutal policies have plunged the country into economic ruin. Working with a network of clandestine camera crews, the filmmakers spent three years recording exclusive interviews with key opposition figures including Leopoldo López — whose arrest and imprisonment inspired a national movement — and grassroots activist Nixon Leal, as well as a host of everyday citizens.

2019

Miss Panama Documentary

Lead Editor and Producer

Lead Editor at Miss Panama, a series of short documentaries that will be published in Topic.com


In 1980, Gloria Karamañites became the first Black woman to be named Miss Panama. After her victory, pageant officials maneuvered to deny her the crown by demanding that she answer an additional obscure legal question. 
In 2017, Erika Parker became the most recent Black woman to win the title of Miss Panama. Hours before the end of her reign, officials announced that they were taking away her crown due to an unspecified "breach of contract". 
MISS PANAMA is a series of short documentaries exploring each woman's experiences navigating racism, and the actions that were taken by the Afro-Panamanian community to rally around the Queens and defend their efforts to represent the country. 
Through their stories, larger issues of race, national identity and the ripple effects of US imperialism come into view. Featuring a vibrant collage of archival, verité and personal testimony the series asks: Who gets to represent a nation?
 

2018

Tusker TV

Researcher

Research for the documentary series Aerial America and Aerial Cities which air on the Smithsonian Channel.

2018

Silent Witness Book (Oxford University Press )

Co-author

The book will narrate how forensic DNA evidence was applied in criminal investigations and humanitarian disasters.

Chapter 7: The Grandmothers of the Disappeared, DNA Analysis, and the Search for Their Missing Grandchildren

This chapter will tell the story of the Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo, or Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo, and their search for more than 500 grandchildren who were kidnapped by the Argentine military or born in captivity during military rule from 1976 to 1983. Most of the parents of these children were executed and buried in clandestine graves, while their children were given to childless military and civilian couples. Hope turned the Abuelas into detectives. Over the years, they examined thousands of public documents, conducted stakeouts, and went undercover in their search for clues. In one case, a grandmother even worked as a maid in the house of a military couple whom she believed had adopted her grandchild. Sleuthing was easy compared to convincing courts that children were biologically related to the grandparents who claimed them.

2017

Harvest Season Documentary (PBS Independent Lens)

Field Producer (California)

Three winemakers navigate the changing situation of their business, affected by climate shifts, new technology, and immigration policies, in the Napa and Sonoma valleys of California.

 

Awards & Recognition:

  • Nominee - Best Feature-Length Film or Documentary - The Taste Awards 

  • Nominee - Best Green or Organic Program, Series or Film - The Taste Awards 

  • Nominee - Best Ethnic Lifestyle Program, Series or Film - The Taste Awards

2017

Voting Matters Documentary (Trilogy Films)

Assistant Editor and Researcher

More than 50 years after the Voting Rights Act of 1965, one of the most extensive pieces of civil rights legislation, people of color across the United States still are engaged in a battle to protect their right to vote. This short documentary directed by Dawn Porter profiles one dynamic woman working tirelessly on the ground and in the courts to ensure that they are not denied this right.
The film follows attorney Donita Judge, an advocate for voting rights, on Election Day 2016, as she troubleshoots claims of voting irregularities in Columbus, Ohio. In recent years, no president has ever won national office without winning Ohio, making it a crucial swing state. As Judge crisscrosses the city to support poll workers and citizens, we see how new voting restrictions such as ID laws affect the ability of people on the ground to vote.
 

2017

Trafficked in America Documentary (Frontline)

Investigative Reporting Program

Field Producer

Trafficked in America tells the story of a group of teenagers from Guatemala who are forced to work against their will at an Ohio egg farm. The film exposes the criminal network that exploits the minors, the company that profits off of them, and the U.S. government’s role in delivering the children into the hands of their traffickers. 

Secure exclusive access to sources and coordinate interviews in Ohio for the FRONTLINE documentary, “Trafficked in America” (aired 4/24/18)

Awards & Recognition:

  • Finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting awarded by the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School. 

2016

The Search Documentary

Director, Editor, Producer, and Cinematographer

The Search is a 24-minute film that explores Estela de Carlotto’s 37-year search for her long-lost grandchild after her daughter was kidnapped and murdered during the Argentinean 1976-1983 dictatorship.

 

Awards & Recognition:

  • Best Short Documentary - Amnesty International Film Festival - Au Cinéma pour les Droits Humains (2018)

  • Student Academy Awards Finalist

  • Best Student Documentary at DOCUTAH Film Festival

  • SPJ NorCal - Excellence in Journalism - Student Special Project Award

  • Berkeley Film Foundation Student Grant

  • Susan Rasky Award for Journalistic Excellence

  • Edwin Bayley Prize for Excellence in Government or Political Reporting

Official Festival Selection:

  • Sarasota Film Festival

  • Festival cinéma Amnesty International Au Cinéma pour les Droits Humains

  • 39th Denver Film Festival

  • 33rd Chicago Latino Film Festival

  • DOCUTAH International Film Festival (Best Student Documentary)

  • Fargo Film Festival

  • MIRA - Latin American Independent Filmfestival

  • Bogotá Short Film Festival

  • San Diego Latino Film Festival

  • Tulipanes Latino Art & Film Festival

  • San Francisco Latino Film Festival

  • Boston Latino Film Festival

2015

Real Boy Documentary

Video Production Intern

Was responsible for the production and editing of transgender musicians video profiles for the Real Boy Documentary social media campaign.

 

2014-2015

Investigative Reporting Program

Intern

Assisted with production tasks including transcribing, translating and editing Spanish interviews for the PBS documentary “Rape in the city.”

 

2014-2015

Oakland North

Reporter

Covered science and technology-related topics in Oakland via print, audio and video for OaklandNorth.net, a hyperlocal news site. 

 

2012 - 2014                 

Dridco

Social Media Manager                                                              

Implemented the Social media strategy for Zonacitas account (www.zonacitas.com is the most important online dating site of Argentina). Manage the social media sites of the brand (Facebook Fan Page, Blog "El amor en tiempos de internet", Google+ and Twitter). Developed brand awareness through Facebook Ads and Google AdWords.

 

2009 –2012                        

Turner Broadcasting System

Associate Producer for Glitz Brazil                                      

In charge of pre-production, production and script editing for the TV shows: “On top”, “Nomes da moda” and “Musicland” that were broadcasted by Glitz Brazil. Developed short formats called “Just Glitz” that aired during commercial breaks and in-between shows.

 

2008 –2009                        

Non Stop TV

Associate Producer

Was responsible for post-production and edition assistance of the TV shows: “Um dia com” and “FTV Mag” that aired in Fashion TV Brazil; did script editing and promo transcription from Spanish to Portuguese.

 

2008                                     

Disney Channel

Junior Research Analyst                                                            

Did market research, prepared weekly and monthly reports on the Disney channel’s ratings; analyzed focus groups research.

 

2007-2008

Diagonal Newspaper

Reporter

Wrote in the areas of general interest, science, technology and health. 

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Skills

Software

Avid Media Composer

Adobe Premiere

Adobe Photoshop

Adobe After Effects

Adobe Lightroom

Adobe Illustrator

Adobe Audition

ShotPutPro

 

Cameras

Sony FS7

Sony FS5

Canon C100

Canon C300

Sony Alpha Series

GoPro

 

Social Media

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

WordPress

Vimeo

YouTube

Production

Video Cinematography

Pro audio recording

Lighting techniques

Video Editing

Photography

Animation

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Languages

Spanish (native)

Portuguese (native)

English (proficient)

Greek (basic)

French (basic)

Education

University of California, Berkeley

​2014 - 2016

 

Graduate School of Journalism

Master of Journalism, 4.0

Documentary Film, Photojournalism

 

 

Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina (U.C.A)

​2003 - 2007

 

Degree in Communication; Concentration in Journalism* 

*Degree accredited by the Latin American Council in Journalism Education

Awards

2018

Festival cinéma Amnesty International Au Cinéma pour les Droits Humainss

Awarded Best Short Documentary  

2017

Broadcast Education Association - Festival of Media Arts

Awarded Best Student Documentary  

2017

Fargo Film Festival 

Awarded Best Student Documentary and the Ruth Landfield Award - given annually in her memory in recognition of a film that celebrates “women of courage, conviction, and compassion.”  

2016

Society of Professional Journalists - NorCal - Special Student Project

Awarded Special Student Project (all media) in the Excellence in Journalism Awards for the documentary "The Search"

2016

Best Student Documentary - DOCUTAH Film Festival 

2016

Student Academy Award Finalist

Nominated for Best Student Documentary by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' annual competition for college and university filmmakers. 

2016

Susan Rasky Award for Journalistic Excellence

Award granted by the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. 

 

2016

Edwin Bayley Prize for Excellence in Government or Political Reporting

Award granted by the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. 

2016

Berkeley Film Foundation Student Grant

Awarded a Film Distribution grant for the documentary "The Search".

2015

Merit Fellowship, Graduate School of Journalism 

Assists Professor Orlando Bagwell in the Documentary Production class and lecturer Dan Krauss in the Introduction to Visual Journalism class. Provides support to first and second year students on production assignments.

 

2015

Carlos M. Castañeda Journalism Scholarship

One-year scholarship granted by the Carlos M. Castañeda Education Foundation to promote excellence in journalism.

 

2006     

Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina 

Journalistic TV report of the year for a report on the international organ donation day.

 

2006     

Austral University

First prize at the “Enterprise seminar” for the startup idea of the first online fashion magazine in Argentina.

Leadership Activities

2016-present

Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA)

Member

2016-present

International Documentary Association (IDA)

Member

2015-present

National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ)

Member

Through the student chapter we debate on the current state of journalism, diversity in the newsrooms and how to promote Latino-student’s work.

2013 - present     

Argentine Journalism Forum

Member

Holds constant debates on ethics in journalism, works in defense of freedom of expression and improves the quality standards of journalism through training courses. 

 

2011 - present     

Saint Augustine School Alumni Association

Member 

Does charitable work and organizes cultural and sports activities. 

Other Courses

2017

UC Berkeley - Investigative Reporting Program

Professional Workshop for Independent Documentary Filmmakers

 

2012

Online Marketing Program, University of Buenos Aires (UBA), Buenos Aires, Argentina (Four-month long course)

 

2009

Course on TV news production, Unión de Trabajadores de Prensa de Buenos Aires (UTPBA) (Press Workers Union of Buenos Aires), Buenos Aires, Argentina (Two-month long course)

 

2007

Investigative Journalism Course, Fundación Grupo PERFIL, Buenos Aires, Argentina (Three-month long course)

 

2007

Radio Production Course, Unión de Trabajadores de Prensa de Buenos Aires (UTPBA), Buenos Aires, Argentina (Four-month long course)

 

2006

Greek Language and Culture program; awarded a scholarship by the Greek Government, Athens, Greece (One-month long program)

 

2002

Exchange student for one semester (senior year) at Pleasant Valley High School. Bettendorf, Iowa, USA

Personal
Interests

Recreational tennis and soccer player. Runner. Extensive traveler throughout North, South, Central America, and Europe. Classically trained guitarist. Film buff, documentary film enthusiast, music lover and insatiable reader. 

© 2018 by Melina Tupa.