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About…

Oona-23 Born and raised in New York City, Oona grew up immersed in the world of art and cinema. The daughter of filmmaker and poet Jonas Mekas and photographer Hollis Melton, some of her first memories are of dark theaters illuminated by the light of a projector, watching works by everyone from Stan Brakhage and Harry Smith to Buster Keaton and Sergio Leone. A performer from an early age, she began playing the violin at age four, and later danced with the New York City Ballet.

 

After years of immersion in the independent and avant grade film scene in New York, in 2002 Oona turned her focus to acting. She had the honor of studying with the late Fred Kareman at Carnegie Hall in New York City. She has been in many theater productions in New York and Los Angeles, countless independent films and appears regularly on television. Oona also gets her “on-set fix” by regularly booking commercial work. In the last several years, she has booked over 60 television commercials.

 

In addition to her own filmwork, Oona has a long history of working as a film programmer and jury member for festivals and film series in the US and abroad. She co-founded (alongside Sky Sitney) and programmed the Fresh Film series at Anthology Film Archives (NYC), and was jury member for multiple years for The New York Underground Film Festival. She was a jury member in 2011 and is currently a programmer for the internationally acclaimed Slamdance Film Festival (Park City, UT).

 

Continuing her childhood dream of being on both sides of the camera, she directed her first film in 2012. Her film The Sleepy Man is a short film based on the short story Sleepy People by Jonathan Lethem. She stars opposite John Hawkes as a woman who finds a man (Hawkes) sleeping on her porch. The film follows what happens over the next 5 days. The film traveled the international film festival circuit in 2013 with critical success. It is now available to watch for free on Vimeo.

 

She is a proud cultural ambassador for the city of Vilnius, Lithuania. Oona is a long-standing board member of Anthology Film Archives, a theater and archive in New York City dedicated to the preservation and screening of cinema in all forms, with an emphasis on experimental and avant-garde film and video.

 

She currently lives in Los Angeles with her daughter and partner.

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