Melonie Diaz, Raised in New York City's Lower East Side
Melonie Diaz could be considered the Latina indie film queen. The Puerto Rican actress, who was raised in New York City's Lower East Side, has starred in a number of independent films, including four that were shown at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. Diaz, who became interested in acting at the Henry Street Settlement and subsequently attended Manhattan’s Professional Performing Arts School, is currently earning rave reviews for her performance in Fruitvale, a film that just won the the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award for U.S. Dramatic film at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Diaz recently completed a degree in Film Production at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts.