June 6, 2014—Melissa Butts has been named a 2014 McKnight Foundation Media Artist Fellow. The McKnight Foundation awards three mid-career fellowships to Minnesota media artists annually. Independent Filmmaker Project Minnesota, a film and media arts resource center in St. Paul, administers the program, each year assembling a selection panel of industry professionals who live and work outside of Minnesota.

“The panelists were particularly impressed—as are we—with all that Ms. Butts has accomplished. To carve out a niche in the rarified Giant Screen/3D market is no easy feat and speaks to the high quality of her work. We're looking forward to following and supporting her career,” states Andrew Peterson, Executive Director, Independent Filmmaker Project Minnesota.

“I feel very honored being recognized by such a long-standing and prominent organization in our community as the McKnight Foundation. Their leadership in supporting the arts fuels exceptional and diverse artistic practice,” said Director Melissa Butts.

Butts founded Melrae Pictures in 2005 and released 3D Sun (2007-2009) in cooperation with NASA and the Smithsonian's National Air & Space Museum in IMAX 3D. Space Junk 3D, narrated by Academy Award Nominee Tom Wilkinson, premiered in 2012 and captured the Grand Prix Award at Dimension 3 in Paris and is currently in distribution in museums globally. Melissa's latest film, Electropolis (2014), is a National Geographic Cinema Ventures project and is currently developing her next giant screen film.

About McKnight Foundation Fellowships

The McKnight Foundation seeks to improve the quality of life for present and future generations through grantmaking, collaboration, and encouragement of strategic policy reform. Founded in 1953 and endowed by William and Maude McKnight, the Foundation had assets of approximately $2 billion and granted about $86 million in 2013.


About Independent Filmmaker Project Minnesota

Independent Filmmaker Project Minnesota administers the McKnight Media Artist Fellow program.

About Melrae Pictures

Led by Melissa Butts and Kim Rowe, Melrae Pictures is a Minneapolis based award-winning creator Melrae Pictures of 2D/3D documentaries for giant screen and digital theaters, broadcast and streaming distribution. To learn more, visit Melrae Pictures