Melissa Lesh

Documentary filmmaker Melissa Lesh founded Emerging Earth Films as a way to bridge the gap between the arts and sciences, focusing on natural history and conservation stories. Her first award-winning documentary, James River Sturgeon, was a collaboration with scientists to uncover the uncharted migration of the endangered Atlantic Sturgeon. Lesh is the Director and Editor of the film Person of the Forest which premiered at Mountainfilm Festival in 2017. Person of the Forest focuses on newly discovered cultural behaviors in wild orangutans in Borneo and Sumatra. Since the films premiere, it has received an award of merit from the Impact Doc Awards and First Place at the Animal Behavior Society Film Festival in Toronto, Canada. Lesh has filmed for clients such as PBS, National Geographic Magazine, Nat Geo Wild and the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Born in Mumbai, India and having grown up in Madison, Wisconsin, she now calls Richmond, Virginia home.