Milena Pastreich is a Los Angeles-based German-American filmmaker and an alumna of Berlinale Talents, Film Independent’s Documentary Lab, Catapult Film Fund and True/False Film Festival’s Rough Cut Retreat, Women at Sundance, and Women in Film.

Pigeon Kings, her directorial feature debut, is a character driven documentary about the godfather of the somersaulting pigeon scene in South Central Los Angeles. It premiered at the Seattle International Film Festival and is now available on the World Wide Web. She previously received the UCLA Spotlight Award for her narrative short, I Feel Stupid, a slice of life coming of age story about the awkward sexually charged silence of teenage life. The film aired on PBS. Jean-Paul Luc Sébastien René, a short she directed about two middle aged besties sunbathing on their living room floor, premiered at SXSW.

Milena also works as a cinematographer and has shot Emmy-nominated films that have screened at festivals such as Cannes and Tribeca. She was awarded Best Cinematography at the New Orleans Film Festival for Garrett Bradley’s Below Dreams, and she received the Panavision Award for The Ballad of Finn + Yeti, directed by Meryl O'Connor. 

Born and raised in San Francisco, Milena earned a BA in Art History from NYU and an MFA in Directing and Cinematography from UCLA.