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 verité documentary about men in South Central LA who are devoted to somersaulting pigeons. It premiered at Seattle International Film Festival and received the Audience Award from Eastern Oregon Film Festival and the Special Jury Prize for Excellence in American Profiles from San Francisco Independent Film Festival. She previously received the UCLA Spotlight Award for I Feel Stupid, a slice of life, coming-of-age short, about the awkward sexually charged silence of teenage life. The film aired on PBS and was featured on Short of the Week. Jean-Paul Luc Sébastien René, a short she made 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 Below Dreams and she received the Panavision Award for The Ballad of Finn + Yeti. 

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