Ehlen, Michelle Biography

biography of Ehlen, Michelle

Michelle Ehlen is a filmmaker and actress who landed her first leading stage role in the third grade playing a man, because she was the only one willing to memorize all of the lines. She immediately fell in love with acting and spent most of her youth on stage in a variety of roles, from tough girl Joe in "Up the Down Staircase" to the fair and dainty heroine in a community melodrama in honor of Swallow's Day in San Juan Capistrano, CA, where she grew up. After attending Powerhouse Theater at Vassar College the summer before her high school senior year, Michelle decided to attend college on the east coast and chose Smith College. She graduated from Smith with a B.A. in Sociology and a minor in Film. After graduation, she moved to Los Angeles to work as an editor and study at the L.A. Film School, where she graduated with a concentration in writing and directing. Her thesis short film, _Half-Laughing (2003)_ (qv), aired nationally on LOGO and Here TV and is being distributed by Wolfe Video on the DVD compilation, "The Ultimate Lesbian Short Film Festival." Michelle then wrote, directed, and acted in her first feature film, _Butch Jamie (2007)_ (qv), a gender-bending comedy about a butch lesbian who gets cast as a man in a film. The film landed her a Best Actress award from the Outfest Film Festival, in addition to Best Feature from the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, among other festival awards. She toured with the film to many festivals, including women's film festivals in Taiwan and South Korea. The film is now available on DVD in North America, France, the UK, and Germany. Michelle recently completed her second feature film, _POP-U-larity! (2012)_ (qv), a mockumentary about a small town singing competition which will be touring festivals in 2011. She is in development on a sequel to _Butch Jamie (2007)_ (qv) called Heterosexual Jill, in addition to a variety of other projects. She also freelances as an editor and has taught editing classes for programs through the Travel Channel, as well as music video classes for Live Arts Group, a non-profit organization providing free arts enrichment to underserved youth.
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