Luisa Mello (Brazil, 1989) is a film director based in Lisbon. She holds an MA of Arts in Documentary Directing from the international DocNomads Join Master Degree Program based in Portugal, Hungary and Belgium. Beforehand, she has a BA in Cinema, a PGCert in Art and Philosophy from the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and studied Documentary Filmmaking at the International Film School of Cuba (EICTV).
Her work as a director, cinematographer and editor have been awarded and shown at numerous festivals such as International Film Festival Rotterdam, Bogoshorts, Vienna Shorts, Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival, IndieLisboa, Sheffield Doc/Fest, Ji.Hlava, and exhibited in Brazilian Television, Netflix and MUBI platform.
Recently she was part of the cinema residency promoted by Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in partnership with the School of Arts at The Catholic University of Portugal in Porto, where she developed her latest film “Dry Stone” (still to be released).
Luisa also works as a researcher in the cinema field. She was the researcher and director's assistant on the development stage of the feature films: “Noites em Branco” (2020, under development), by director Tiago Hespanha (Terratreme Filmes production); “Filipinas” (2021/2022, under development) by director Leonor Noivo (Terratreme Filmes production), and "Maria e João: a pintura de João José Costa (2017), by Eduardo Hunter Moura.
In the area of education, she was the coordinator and teacher of the documentary cinema course “Arquivo Especial de Uma Vida Normal” (2020/2021), promoted by Companhia Caótica and by the Municipality of Moita in Portugal; and gave cinema workshops to secondary school students in the Alentejo region (Portugal), in the project “Como se viu e como se vê”, produced by Sem Termo (2021).
Luisa is part of the collective Cinecaravan, a mobile cinema project that offers free screenings and documentary filmmaking workshops in villages across Europe - In 2022 she was part of the 4th edition that took place in the north of Portugal and Galicia. And works on the project "Visto Permanente" (funded by DGARTES) as director, cinematographer and editor on a collective production of videos portraying the work of immigrant artists based in Lisbon.
As a complementary education, Luisa Mello studied Film Directing with director Eduardo Coutinho at the Rio de Janeiro International Short Film Festival in 2008; Archive Film from REcine at the National Archive in Rio de Janeiro, 2014; Cinematography with cinematographer Lúcio Kodato at the International Academy of Films (AIC), 2014; Film Lab with director José Guerín at IMS-Rio in 2014; Documentary Filmmaking at the International Academy of Films (AIC), 2015; Documentary Workshop with director Sandra Kogut at Polo de Pensamento Contemporâneo in Brazil, 2015.
Luisa's works range from documentary to fiction. Her filmic approach combines an observational cinema with fictional elements, often with a minimalistic and poetic style. She finds in the small details of everyday life a way to reveal deeper thoughts about reality.