Dena Mermelstein has been involved in non-fiction filmmaking for over twenty years. After graduating from college, she had the good fortune to collaborate with two-time Academy Award winner Barbara Kopple on several films produced for labor unions. Since then, she has concentrated on documentary editing, with a focus on social issue projects. With a love for story structure, character development, visual language and rhythm and pacing, editing has been a natural fit.

Dena has edited documentaries that have premiered at numerous film festivals and have aired on PBS, A&E, National Geographic, OWN and Discovery. Most recently, she completed work as a Series Editor on Oprah Winfrey’s seven-part documentary series, Belief, which will air in 2015. Career highlights include a IDA Best Episodic Series Award for Our America; a Best Documentary Award at the Tribeca Film Festival and Independent Lens airing of Chiefs (Dir: Daniel Junge; Prod: Donna Dewey & Henry Ansbacher); a Gracie Award and Emmy nomination for National Geographic’s Slave Girls of India (Dir: Rakhi Varma; Series Prod: Kim Woodard); a Cine Golden Eagle award and P.O.V. airing of American Aloha: Hula Beyond Hawai'i (Dir:Lisette Flanary & Evann Siebens), ; a Margaret Mead Film Festival screening and PBS airing of North Korea: Beyond the DMZ (Dir: J.T. Takagi & Hye-Jung Park); a Human Rights Watch Film Festival screening of 900 Women (Dir: Laleh Khadivi; Prod: Jonathan Stack); and an editing Emmy nomination for the PBS children’s series, Reading Rainbow.

Dena has also taught video production to teenagers, videotaped clinic defense actions with the Women’s Health Action and Mobilization (WHAM!) and studied photography at the International Center of Photography. At the University of Michigan, she majored in English literature and was honored with a Hopwood Award in poetry.

Dena lives in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn with her husband, the talented animation artist Jason McDonald, and their son, Hugo.