Abuela Luna Pictures has produced award-winning films, Emmy-nominated television productions and numerous commercial videos shot across North America, Europe, Asia and South America. Filmmaker Joshua Dylan Mellars and Producer Sofia Englund have collaborated on diverse works, from drama "Shakespeare in the Shadows" to social documentary "Building a Better Society." Their productions have aired on television nationwide and been feted at international film festivals and distinguished venues around the world..
Joshua Dylan Mellars
Joshua Dylan Mellars is an award-winning director and Emmy-nominated television producer. His independent drama, Shakespeare in the Shadows, and Indian classical music documentary, Play Like a Lion, are currently airing on PBS stations nationally.
The filmmaker’s productions have screened at a variety of venues throughout the world including the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, the Indian Embassy to the US in collaboration with the Smithsonian, the Portuguese Embassy to the US, Oxford, Cambridge, and international film festivals from New York City to London, Los Angeles to Berlin, Miami to Vancouver.
As a television producer, Mellars created a diverse body of work at PBS station Northern California Public Media, including programs that feature the California Academy of Sciences and Monterey Bay Aquarium, Habitat for Humanity, Brown Girl Surf, U.C. Berkeley and Muir Woods National Monument. He also contributed to NHK World-Japan’s environmental series “Zeroing In: Carbon Neutral 2050.”
Prior to television production and independent filmmaking, Joshua was a news correspondent for seven years in Venezuela, Argentina and Brazil where he filed stories for UPI, NPR’s Marketplace, the BBC and Bridge News wire service. He is a Brown University graduate.
Sofia Englund is an award-winning Swedish-born film and television writer and producer. She is best known for her creative collaborations with filmmaker Joshua Dylan Mellars, which include Emmy-nominated, arthouse film Shakespeare in the Shadows, currently airing on PBS stations nationwide.
Equally comfortable in front of the camera, Sofia has hosted programs such as “The Swedish Gardener,” a TV documentary that explores climate victory gardens, as well as wellness and lifestyle segments for “Women in Conversation.” She also hosted NPR station KRCB’s Bay Area Bountiful environmental radio show in the San Francisco Bay Area and appeared on Swedish television reporting on wildfires and climate change in Northern California.
Cultural interests and concern for social issues have taken her around the world — Stockholm, Paris, London, Barcelona, New York and San Francisco — where she has lent her talents to British think tank The Centre for Social Justice, nonprofit EARTH University, global culture and current affairs publication Port Magazine, the Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce San Francisco/Silicon Valley and Sonoma Magazine. Englund was part of The Press Democrat newspaper team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2018 for reporting on catastrophic wildfires in California.
Sofia’s artistic sensibilities were developed and refined during rigorous training at music school in her native Stockholm where she focused on choral singing and piano. She is a graduate of The University of London SOAS with a degree in International Politics.
Tango Illusions wanders the steamy dance halls and sweltering streets of Buenos Aires to understand the hearts, minds and souls of porteños, the city’s residents. Tango is the lens, the political chaos of modern Argentina is the backdrop.
Following shoots in India, New England and the Pacific Northwest, Director Joshua Dylan Mellars returns to Lisbon to capture footage and interview renowned fadistas.
PAINT, FLOW, GRAVITY, TIME
Offering a behind the scenes look at artist Lea Feinstein at work in her studio, this Abuela Luna produced video played at an exhibition of Feinstein’s work at Hang Art Gallery in downtown San Francisco.
“What was” collides with “What will be” in a search for saudade. Filmmaker Joshua Dylan Mellars journeys into the heart of the Portuguese soul on a mystically wild and lushly romantic fado journey. With performances by legendary Lisbon fadistas.
ON THE ROAD
Touring with his films, Director Joshua Dylan Mellars screens his work and attends Q&As throughout the world, including stops in London, Washington D.C., New York, Vancouver, Berlin, Toronto, Monaco and Rome.
TELLING THEIR OWN STORIES
Joshua Dylan Mellars, and his music movie trilogy, profiled in the book “Telling Their Own Stories: Conversations with Documentary Filmmakers” by Don Schwartz. Joshua is one of twelve filmmakers featured in the book.
THE LAND OF NOD
Filming of actor Mark Cohen begins for this lyrical reimagining of the Robert Louis Stevenson poem. A man, no longer young, climbs a mountain towards the possibility of buried gold in a Portuguese fortress and finds a fleeting dream of the wanderlust of youth.
BUILDING A BETTER SOCIETY
Filmmakers Joshua Dylan Mellars and Sofia Englund collaborate on this hard-hitting and prescient documentary, for PBS station Northern California Public Media, that examines an economy where housing, food, fuel, education, and healthcare costs continue to accelerate upwards, while wages stagnate, diminish, or disappear.
Former political prisoner Hector Marteau survived The Dirty War which saw 30,000 people numbered among the “Disappeared.” In Stolen Youth, the Buenos Aires resident re-visits the prison where he was “detained” forty years ago during the Argentine military dictatorship.
SHAKESPEARE IN THE SHADOWS
Premiering on PBS stations nationwide, San Francisco Emmy-nominated Shakespeare in the Shadows stars Mark Cohen playing six of the Bard’s most intriguing characters. Shakespeare’s hushed whispers and thundering roars unfold against wild Northern California promontories and stark cityscapes.
MY UNCLE BOBBY
In 1969 at the age of 22, Robert A. Rothschild was drafted into the army and joined some 500,000 troops in Vietnam. In My Uncle Bobby, the veteran remembers the night recon mission when he stepped on a land mine just south of the Vietnamese DMZ. Television premiere on PBS station Northern California Public Media.
PLAY LIKE A LION
Premiering on PBS stations across the US, Play Like a Lion travels India to explore the origins and legacy of iconic Indian sarodist Ali Akbar Khan’s music—through the eyes of his son Alam. With Carlos Santana, the Grateful Dead’s Mickey Hart, slide guitarist Derek Trucks, jazz saxophonist John Handy, virtuoso sarodist Aashish Khan, tabla masters Zakir Hussain and Swapan Chaudhuri.
WALK ON THE WILD SIDE
Filmmaker Joshua Dylan Mellars receives an Emmy nomination for his camera work on Walk on the Wild Side, a PBS station NorCal Public Media production. The filmmaker receives a second nomination from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in San Francisco for The Bellwether Cheesemakers, which he also produced for the TV station.
SIX STRING DUENDE
Television producer Joshua Dylan Mellars receives his seventh career Emmy nomination for Six String Duende from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) in San Francisco/Northern California. The documentary about guitar luthiers was produced for PBS station NorCal Public Media.