Meeshelle ‘Meesh’ Neal is an award-winning queer Canadian filmmaker. Most recently the first in the history of the Whistler Producers Lab to have two projects selected. Meesh wrote and is slated to direct both.
She won Best Female Filmmaker for her work on Sweet Release in the Toronto International Nollywood Film Festival where the short also took home Best LGBTQ Film. She was also recently awarded Best Director for Where Everyone Lives in the Berlin Indie Film Festival.
Following on the heels of the concept short under the same title, Meeshelle is in development on her feature film Sweet Release. This full-length magical realism story is being brought to life with the help of the WIDC CBC Films Talent Development Award and the Whistler Producers Lab (see link above). The script has received funding and was shortlisted for the Sundance Development Track. Heidi Lasi of Pelee Entertainment is attached as the producer.
She adapted Mental to the screen from a one-woman stage play. The film received BravoFACT funding as well as multiple awards, international recognition, and co-earned her a WIFTV Spotlight Image Award.
Meeshelle is proud to have served a full term on the board for Women in Film & Television Vancouver and to have been one of the mentors in Cinevic’s inaugural training program The Incubators. She has sat on many jury’s including the WIDC Feature Film Award, East Van Monologue Match, & CINESPARK Script Competition. She is often hired to write for film & TV, story edit, career consult, pitch coach** and has ghost written mulitple novels. She recently sat on the jury for Directing Change Canada.
This summer Meeshelle will be directing the feature film Reparation Night.
She is mentored by the well-respected director / producer Gary Harvey and is grateful to have apprenticed with him on three projects, working closely with him from prep through to post on: Hudson & Rex (CityTV), Welcome To Christmas (Hallmark) & Tiny Pretty Things (Netflix).
As part of her professional development, Meeshelle participated in workshops such as the: STORYHIVE Career Accelerator Program, Women In the Director’s Chair (WIDC) Career Advancement Module, the immersive Story and Leadership program and Whistler Producers Lab.
In addition to working in film, Meeshelle is an author and has published the Betwixt trilogy. She was a recipient of the Amy Ferris Fellowship award for her novel, Betwixt: The Call of the Void (now available as an audio book). She is currently in development on an adaptation of the books into a feature film with the help of the Whistler Producers Lab. Alexandra Caulfield of Alley Rock Films and Veronika Kurz of Paperbag Productions are attached as producers.
“Whoa,” says Amy Ferris about Betwixt: The Call of the Void, “This piece did me in. Did. Me. In. Stunning. Just stunning.”
Meesh enjoys telling heightened reality stories that remain grounded in the nuanced complexity of human emotions.
**TESTIMONIAL from Nick Rees, “After learning that my creative team and I were invited to pitch to Netflix I sought coaching from Meeshelle Neal. The time was hyper well spent, and she was entirely flexible with our situation and made the best of the sessions we had together. She not only gave us extremely practical advice on preparation but then conducted practice sessions with feedback. This was well worth any cost, and was in fact, priceless as we nailed the pitch interview, and were prepared for each and every question we faced. If anyone is in a similar position pitching to a developer, I highly recommend engaging with her.”
Media & Interviews:
YVR Screen Scene Podcast Episode Forty-Four: Meeshelle Neal
Meesh’s past blog posts can be found on the M&J website. The posts that end with ~M were written by her (with input from Jax) and visa versa the ones ending in ~J were written by Jax (with input from Meesh). Together they were co-heads of Creative Services for JBA.