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Nina  Menkes

Nina Menkes

Acclaimed Cinematic Pioneer & CalArts Faculty


Considered a cinematic feminist pioneer and one of America’s foremost independent filmmakers, Menkes has shown widely in major international film festivals including multiple premieres at Sundance, the Berlinale, Cannes, Rotterdam, Locarno, Toronto, The New York Film Festival, La Cinematheque Francaise, British Film Institute, Whitney Museum of American Art, MOMA in New York, MOCA and LACMA in LA. Read More >

Menkes’s honors include a Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, an AFI Independent Filmmaker Award, a Creative Capital Award and an International Critic’s Award (FIPRESCI Prize) for the feature documentary Massaker which premiered at the Berlinale in 2005. In 2011, her feature film The Bloody Child (1996) was named one of the most important films of the past 50 years by the Viennale International Film Festival, Austria. In 2022 she was commissioned to create the official Viennale Trailer for the 60th Anniversary of the festival, along with other major directors including Claire Denis, Ryusuke Hamaguchi Albert Serra and Sergei Loznitsa.

Most recently, Menkes has been touring with her 2022 feature documentary BRAINWASHED: Sex- Camera-Power, made with support from Tim Disney, Susan Disney Lord, Abigail Disney, and the EOS World Fund. BRAINWASHED has been honored with screenings at major A list international film festivals including Sundance, the Berlinale, CPH:DOX, BFI-London, IDFA, Frameline, Karlovy Vary and the Viennale. Released by Kino Lorber in the US and internationally, it was awarded the 2022 Female Empowerment Seal by the Critics Choice Association.

Two of Menkes’s early feature films, Queen of Diamonds and The Bloody Child, both starring Tinka Menkes, were selected for restoration by the Academy Film Archive and Scorsese’s Film Foundation, with funding provided by the Hobson/Lucas Family Foundation. Queen of Diamonds was widely hailed as “a modern masterpiece” when it was re-released in 2019, and a Blu Ray box set of all her narrative features is due out in late 2022, by Arbelos Films.

Menkes holds an MFA in Film Production from UCLA, is a directing member of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) and on faculty at California Institute of the Arts. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

Nina Menkes Criterion Channel Interview

Nina Menkes – Official Trailer – Brainwashed: Sex-Camera-Power – Official Trailer

Speech Topics

Brainwashed: Sex-Camera-Power