About Frozen Feet Films

Frozen Feet Films is an award-winning production company created in 2002 by American documentary filmmaker Melody Gilbert. Over the past 20 years, we have directed and produced a wide range of character-driven documentary films about the human condition. We are constantly developing and producing a number of films for the international market.

About Melody

Melody Gilbert is an award-winning independent documentary filmmaker and film professor who has directed character-driven stories for film and television for more than 20 years. 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, giving voice to ordinary people with extraordinary stories.

Melody Gilbert
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 couple who gets married at the world's largest shopping mall, a former vice president of the United States or a physically healthy person who desperately wants to become an amputee. She has directed, shot, produced, (and sometimes edited) five independent feature-length documentaries since 2002: Married at the Mall (2002), Whole (2003), A Life Without Pain (2005), Urban Explorers: Into the Darkness (2007) and Fritz: The Walter Mondale Story. (2008). She is the executive producer of Disconnected (2008), NUMB (2011), American Heart (2014), and she is the producer of award-winning film The Starfish Throwers (2014). Melody is also the co-director of Steps in the Fire (2014), the first 3D documentary in Bulgaria, and the producer/writer of Women Outward Bound (2015). All of Melody's films have screened at prestigious film festivals and been broadcast internationally around the world.

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In 1996, Ms. Gilbert started teaching broadcast journalism and documentary production at the University of Minnesota's School of Journalism and continues to teach students how to make documentaries when she is not making her own. She has taught at the American University in Bulgaria, Carleton College, IFP, College of Visual Arts, Walker Art Center and in Romania and Kyrgyzstan.

Melody Gilbert teaching a high school workshopMelody teaching the TV News class at the American University in Bulgaria

In 2001, she formed her own company, Frozen Feet Films, and has been an independent director/producer since and continues to teach as the opportunities arise, including teaching her intensive training "Documentary Boot Camp." Melody is currently teaching documentary filmmaking and multimedia journalism at Northwestern State University.


"Melody's teaching is infectious and her approach to documentary, from first idea to distribution, is a winner." -John Schott, Chair of Cinema and Media Studies, Carleton College

"Melody's hands-on teaching style allowed me to instantly put her teachings into practice. " -Mitchell Lundin, Carelton College student

"Melody Gilbert entertained, informed and inspired us with her films and her lively banter." -Julie Buckles, Workshop participant

"Melody Gilbert is the type of teacher that makes you question what you want to be when you grow up. After taking a class with her I fell in love with documentaries and forgot all about my Business Administration major." - Rafie Drencheva, American University in Bulgaria class of 2014, Northwestern University pursuing MFA in Documentary Filmmaking

Master Classes/Public Speaking

Melody Gilbert is available to teach master classes and workshops including:

Melody Gilbert Melody tutoring at the Balkan Documentary Center in Sofia, Bulgaria
  • Everything I Know About Documentary Filmmaking... in 30 minutes or less!
  • Melody's Top Ten Documentary Filmmaking Tips
  • Documentary "Boot Camp"
  • The Truth About Film Festivals
  • Backpack Filmmaking: Going Alone, Thriving and Surviving

All of her presentations include clips from her films and audience participation. Click the button below for a complete list of classes.

View complete film catalog See list of all classes offered
Melody Gilbert

A Message from Melody

As an independent documentary filmmaker who works mostly solo, I am driven to explore the unknown, the unconventional and the unexplained. With my video camera and microphone in hand, I immerse myself into the lives and subcultures of the people in my films. I make an emotional commitment and an ethical promise to tell these stories in an intimate, respectful manner and I never, ever exploit or sensationalize.

©2011-2024 Frozen Feet Films