Kelly O

It's actually something of a surprise to catch Mel Eslyn on the phone AND in Seattle. The two-time Stranger Genius Award nominee in film is keeping staggeringly busy. During a brief chat, she explains that in the next three months, no fewer than five films she has produced will be opening in theaters—The Intervention, Uncle Kent 2, Blue Jay, Rainbow Time, and Dreamland. That would be a lot already, but if you add the two features she currently has in post-production, and the three others she's prepping to shoot in the fall (including one that will be set here in Seattle), it becomes almost impossible to imagine how she's capable of sustaining the workload. "I keep saying I'm going to slow down and rest," Eslyn says, chuckling. "But then I turn a corner, and I can't bring myself to say no. This job is so much about momentum."

Mel Eslyn will be celebrated at the free Stranger Genius Awards party on September 24 at the Moore Theatre. Five artists will go home with $5,000 each, no strings attached, thanks to our generous sponsors. To see all 15 nominees this year, go to thestranger.com/genius2016.