Melinda Janko

Melinda Janko, Producer, Director, Writer, graduated from Emerson College in Boston, MA. Shortly after, she formed Turning Point Productions, a company that specialized in producing promotional videos for the non-profit sector.

In 2003, after moving to Southern California, Melinda formed Fire in the Belly Productions, Inc., after discovering the story of the broken Indian Trust Fund and Elouise Cobell’s lawsuit. Outraged by the injustice, she spent a year researching and building relationships of trust with Elouise and Native American leaders. Consequently Elouise gave Melinda exclusive rights to tell her story. For four years Melinda traveled throughout the U.S. with Elouise and filmed in eight states, Washington, D.C. and on many Tribal lands. She was also granted exclusive access to high-level officials of the Department of the Interior who had previously declined to talk. Melinda has interviewed Senators, Congressmen, the Federal Judge, the lead attorney, and many Native American beneficiaries of the Indian Trust Fund. She has been interviewed by the BBC Radio, NPR, and Indian Country Today and wrote a special feature article, Elouise Cobell: A Small Measure of Justice, for the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian Magazine.