Igor Myakotin - Director

Igor Myakotin is a documentary filmmaker from the Russian Far East who searches for cinematic authenticity and character-driven stories. 

Born and raised at world's end, he traveled 5000 miles telling stories through short documentaries and photographs: from Roma orphans to burials at sea and Atlantic whales. His work has been showcased at film festivals in Europe and the U.S. Igor's recent short documentary "Swan Song" received an awards for Outstanding Documentary Filmmaking at the 38th FINE CUTS at The New School in New York. Igor worked as a second camera and a PA on Melody Gilbert's recent feature documentary "The Summer Help" about international student workers - mainly from Eastern Europe - in America's summer resorts. In the past he has worked at Bolster in Minneapolis editing videos for clients like Feeding America and RedBrick Health. Igor was also an outreach assistant working on “The Starfish Throwers” a documentary by Jesse Roesler, an Emmy Award-winning filmmaker. Igor graduated in 2015 with a B.A in Journalism and Mass Communication from the American University in Bulgaria and holds MA in Documentary Studies from The New School in New York City.


Melody Gilbert - Producer 

Melody Gilbert is a visual storyteller based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where she works on long and short-term video projects. 

Melody Gilbert is a filmmaker and educator who has been directing, producing, shooting and editing award-winning documentaries for more than 15 years through her production company, Frozen Feet Films ( The 12 feature-length films she has made have premiered at prestigious film festivals around the world such as SXSW & Thessaloniki, and been broadcast on PBS, The Sundance Channel, and on dozens of networks internationally. Melody was named “one of the most fearless filmmakers in contemporary documentary cinema” by the Documentary Channel.

Her work is noteworthy for featuring a rare intimacy with her subjects as she unearths previously hidden worlds. She works mostly solo, querying her subjects from behind the camera.  She has the uncanny ability to get people to open up and reveal their innermost thoughts, whether it's the family of a child who can't feel pain (A Life Without Pain), students from Eastern Europe cleaning for Americans on summer vacation (The Summer Help), a former vice president of the United States(FRITZ: The Walter Mondale Story), or a physically healthy person who desperately wants to become an amputee (WHOLE). 

Her work has been profiled in a variety of publications, including recently in VICE, Inverse, and recently on Bulgarian National Television. One of her films, A Life Without Pain, was featured on Oprah. A film she produced, The Starfish Throwers, was named "the most heartwarming film of 2014" by the Huffington Post and won a James Beard award in 2016.  Melody has been awarded grants from the Jerome Foundation, MN State Arts Board and she was a recipient of the prestigious McKnight Foundation Filmmaker Artist Fellowship

Advisory Board


David France - Advisory Board 

David France is an Oscar-nominated filmmaker, New York Times best-selling author, and award-winning investigative journalist.

His directorial debut HOW TO SURVIVE A PLAGUE is hailed as an innovative and influential piece of storytelling that is credited with renewing a conversation about AIDS in the United States. It is regularly screened in university classrooms, and by community groups and AIDS service organizations. Appearing on over 20 “Best of the Year” lists, including Time and Entertainment Weekly, the documentary earned a GLAAD Award and top honors from the Gotham Awards, the International Documentary Association, the New York Film Critics Circle, the Boston Society of Film Critics, and the Provincetown Film Festival, among many others. After a theatrical run reaching over 30 cities, HOW TO SURVIVE A PLAGUE was aired on PBS’s Independent Lens series, reaching an audience of millions and garnering Academy and Emmy nominations and a Peabody Award. In addition, France has seen his journalistic work inspire several films, including the Peabody-winning Showtime film SOLDIER’S GIRL, based on his New York Times Magazine story of the trans girlfriend of a soldier killed in an anti-gay attack. His latest book, also called How to Survive a Plague made numerous Best-Of2016 lists, including The New Yorker, The Guardian, San Francisco Chronicle, and The New York Times. It is being developed by the producer Scott Rudin as a limited series for the National Geographic Network.