Melina Matsoukas (born January 14, 1981) is an American music video, film, commercial and television director. She is a two-time Grammy Award winner and four-time MTV Video Music Awards winner for her "We Found Love" and "Formation" music videos. She was honored with the Franklin J. Schaffner Alumni Medal by the American Film Institute in 2019. Her directorial debut in film was Queen & Slim, starring Jodie Turner-Smith and Daniel Kaluuya, and written by Lena Waithe. It was released on November 27, 2019, by Universal Pictures.
|Born||January 14, 1981|
|Alma mater||New York University|
Early life and educationEdit
Matsoukas grew up in the Co-op City housing development in the Bronx. Her father worked as a builder, and her mother taught math in a local high school. When Matsoukas was eight, the family moved to Hackensack, New Jersey. Her father is of half Greek and half Jewish descent, and her mother is of Afro-Cuban and Afro-Jamaican descent. Both her name and surname are Greek: Μελίνα Ματσούκα. She earned her degree at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts and completed her graduate work at the AFI Conservatory with an MFA in cinematography. Her graduate thesis was on music videos.
Matsoukas started out at Black Dog Film, then the now-defunct Gorilla Flix film production company, and is currently a director at Prettybird, which she has been signed to since 2011.
Her work is described as "chock full of bright colors or crisp black and white images, smooth spotlights, and tasteful retro video models." Matsoukas says that expensive equipment is not necessary for a quality video and one should never think that way: "A good video has the right visuals, a well conceptualised story and should be exciting and elicit reaction." In an interview for Venus Zine's Fall 2010 issue, she says about being part of the music video world, "I love it. The quick turnaround, the creativity."
Matsoukas made her directorial debut in film with Queen & Slim, starring Jodie Turner-Smith and Daniel Kaluuya, and written by Lena Waithe. It was released on November 27, 2019, by Universal Pictures.
|2011||Year off||Target / Beyoncé|
|Fuel for Life||Diesel|
|2012||All Originals Represent||Adidas|
|2016||Pop||Stella McCartney / Grimes, Amandla Stenberg, Lola Leon, Kenya Kinski-Jones|
|2017||Master of None||2 Episodes|
|2020||Y||also executive producer|
|2019||Queen & Slim||also producer|
|Year||Award or Organization||Category||Nominee||Result||Ref.|
|2008||UK Music Video Awards||People Choice Awards||"Bleeding Love" (Leona Lewis)||Won|||
|2012||Antville Music Video Awards||Best Hip-Hop||"Losing You" (Solange Knowles)||Nominated|||
|MTV Video Music Awards||Video of the Year||"We Found Love" (Rihanna with Calvin Harris)||Won|||
|UK Music Video Awards||Best Pop Video – International||Nominated|||
|2013||Grammy Awards||Best Music Video||"We Found Love" (Rihanna with Calvin Harris)||Won|||
|Music Video Production Awards||Best Direction of a New Artist||"Losing You" (Solange Knowles)||Won|||
|Best Direction of a Female Artist||Won|
|UK Music Video Awards||Best Pop Video – International||Won|||
|2014||Camerimage||Video of the Year||"Pretty Hurts" (Beyoncé)||Nominated|||
|MTV Video Music Awards||Best Direction||Nominated|||
|2016||Camerimage||Video of the Year||"Formation" (Beyoncé)||Nominated|||
|Cannes Lions International Festival||Excellence in Music Video||Gran Prix|||
|Clio Awards||Video of the Year||Won|||
|Kinsale Shark Awards||Best International Director Music Video||Won|||
|Best International Music Video||Won|
|London International Awards||Best Music Video||Bronze|||
|Music Video Direction||Bronze|
|MTV Video Music Awards||Video of the Year||Won|||
|UK Music Video Awards||Best Urban Video - International||Nominated|||
|Best Styling in a Video||Won|
|2017||Black Reel Awards for Television||Outstanding Comedy Series||Insecure||Nominated|||
|Outstanding Directing - Comedy Series||"Thanksgiving" (Master of None)||Nominated|
|Gold Derby Awards||Best Comedy Episode of the Year||Won|||
|Grammy Awards||Best Music Video||"Formation" (Beyoncé)||Won|||
|NAACP Image Awards||Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series||"Insecure as F**k" (Insecure)||Nominated|||
|Webby Awards||Best Music Video - People's Voice||"Formation" (Beyoncé)||Won|||
|Best Music Video||Nominated|
|2018||Black Reel Awards for Television||Outstanding Comedy Series||Insecure||Nominated|||
|Outstanding Directing - Comedy Series||"Hella Perspective" (Insecure)||Nominated|
|Directors Guild of America Awards||Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Comedy Series||"Thanksgiving" (Master of None)||Nominated|| |
|2019||African-American Film Critics Association||Impact Award||Queen & Slim||Won|||
|Top 10 Best Films||Won|
|American Film Institute||Franklin J. Schaffner Alumni Medal||Herself||Won|||
|Austin Film Critics Association Awards||Best First Film||Queen & Slim||Nominated|||
|Florida Film Critics Circle||Best First Film||Won|||
|Los Angeles Online Film Critics Society Awards||Best First Feature||Nominated|||
|National Board of Review Awards||Best Directorial Debut||Won|||
|Online Association of Female Film Critics Awards||Breakthrough Filmmaker||Nominated|||
|Online Film Critics Society||Best Debut Feature||Nominated|||
|Toronto Film Critics Association Awards||Best First Feature||Nominated|||
|2020||Black Reel Awards||Outstanding Motion Picture||Queen & Slim||Nominated|||
|Outstanding Emerging Director||Won|
|Directors Guild of America Awards||Outstanding Directing - First Time Feature Film||Nominated|||
|Hawaii Film Critics Society Awards||Best First Film||Nominated|||
|Best New Filmaker||Nominated|||
|NAACP Image Awards||Outstanding Motion Picture||Nominated|||
|Outstanding Independent Motion Picture||Nominated|
- Okeowo, Alexis (March 6, 2017). "The Provocateur behind Beyonce, Rihanna and Issa Rae". The New Yorker. Retrieved March 11, 2017.
- "The Provocateur Behind Beyonce Rihanna and Issa Rae". Archived from the original on July 12, 2011. Retrieved May 14, 2010.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
- Kamuzu Banda, Tim. Saturday, September 6, 2008 at 22:01. "Video queen: Melina Matsoukas", Daily Nation.
- "Visionary: Melina Matsoukas" Archived January 18, 2008, at the Wayback Machine, WatchLookListen.
- Banda, Tim Kamuzu (2008). "Video queen: Melina Matsoukas", p.2, Daily Nation.
- "Venus Zine: Melina Matsoukas" Venus Zine Fall 2010 Issue No. 44
- Jodie Smith-Turner to Star Opposite Daniel Kaluuya in ‘Queen & Slim’ (EXCLUSIVE)
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