Skip to content Skip to navigation

Melanie Levy

Melanie Levy

Documentary Film and Video


Melanie Vi Levy holds an MFA degree from Stanford University’s program in Documentary Film & Video and a BFA in drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She has performed with the Atlantic Theater Company and Playwrights Horizons Studios and has collaborated on projects with Ping Chong & Company, The Aperture Foundation, Concentric Films and Axis Films. Productions include Leaving Paradise: the Jews of Jamaica, The Secret Life of Beards (Winner Artistic Vision Award Big Sky Documentary Film Festival), A Different Color Blue (Winner Best Student Documentary, Palm Springs International Shorts Festival), and most recently her Stanford thesis film My Name is Sydney completed in June of 2009.


Enersen Foundation Production Grant, 2009

My Name is Sydney 

hd video
JUNE, 2009
Watch Video

An intimate journey into the world of Sydney Edmond, a sixteen year old girl who lives without the ability to speak but whose future depends on finding a voice.

Awards, Festivals, and Screenings

Regional Finalist, Student Academy Award, 2010
Nominee, IDA/David Wolper Award, 2009
Doxita, 2011
Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, 2010

The Secret Life of Beards 

16mm color film
JUNE, 2008
Watch Video

When the thing that matters most is right under our nose. Through the personal testimony of beardophiliacs who stand by their own through thick and thin, this documentary explores how the simple daily choice to shave or not to shave impacts social perceptions, perspective and identity.

Awards, Festivals, and Screenings

Best MiniDoc Award, Artistic Vision, Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, 2009
Rincon International Film Festival, Puerto Rico, 2009
CFC Worldwide Short Film Festival, Toronto - Featured in the Opening Night Gala Program, 2009
NextFrame UFVA's Touring Festival of International Student Film & Video, 2009
San Francisco Documentary Film Festival, 2009
Redhook Film Festival, 2009

The Backstretch 

digital video
Co-directed by Meghan O'Hara
MARCH, 2008

After nearly eighty years of horse racing history, San Mateo's legendary Bay Meadows Racecourse is facing its final season. At this pivotal moment in California racing history, The Backstretch takes a look at life on the other side of the tracks.

Awards, Festivals, and Screenings

Red Hook Film Festival, 2008
Stanford University's Cantor Arts Center, Party on the Edge, 2008

a different color blue 

16mm black and white film
Watch Video

In a dusty art studio tucked away in San Francisco's Tenderloin district artist Charles Curtis Blackwell pours over works of beauty and remarkable spirit. a different color blue is the story of a man who, despite a brush with tragedy that would alter his life forever, finds hope in the most unlikely of places. This short, black and white 16mm film explores the redemptive power of art, ideas of perception, and the courage of an artist who refuses to turn away from inspiration.

Awards, Festivals, and Screenings

Winner, Best Student Documentary, Palm Springs International Shorts Festival, 2008
POV broadcast, PBS, 2010
Rooftop Films Summer Series, 2008
Red Hook Film Festival, 2008
Dam Short Film Festival, 2009
True/False Film Fest, 2009
Cleveland International Film Festival, 2009



June 13, 2009

Free and open to the public

June 10, 2008

Free and open to the public

Cubberley Auditorium
March 18, 2008

Free and open to the public.

December 11, 2007

This event is free and open to the public.