Melina Matsoukas

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Melina Matsoukas (born January 14, 1981) is an American music video, film, commercial and television director. She is a two-time Grammy Award winner for her "We Found Love" and "Formation" music videos.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Matsoukas is of Greek, Jewish, Jamaican, and Cuban descent.[2] 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 (MFA in cinematography). Her graduate thesis was on music videos.[3]


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."[4] 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."[5] 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."[6]

In 2016 and 2017, Matsoukas directed several episodes of the critically and publicly acclaimed television series Master of None and Insecure.

Matsoukas will make her directorial debut in film, with Queen & Slim, starring Jodie Turner-Smith and Daniel Kaluuya, written by Lena Waithe. It is scheduled to be released on November 27, 2019, by Universal Pictures.[7]


Music videos[edit]











Year Name Artist Notes
2011 Year off Target / Beyoncé
Fuel for Life Diesel
2012 All Originals Represent Adidas
2013 Change Lanes Lexus
2016 Pop Stella McCartney / Grimes, Amandla Stenberg, Lola Leon, Kenya Kinski-Jones
2017 Equality Nike


Year Name Notes
2016 Insecure 3 Episodes
2017 Master of None 2 Episodes



  1. ^ Okeowo, Alexis (March 6, 2017). "The Provocateur behind Beyonce, Rihanna and Issa Rae". The New Yorker. Retrieved March 11, 2017.
  2. ^ "Females Freakin' The Industry". Archived from the original on July 12, 2011. Retrieved 14 May 2010.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  3. ^ Kamuzu Banda, Tim. Saturday, September 6, 2008 at 22:01. "Video queen: Melina Matsoukas", Daily Nation.
  4. ^ "Visionary: Melina Matsoukas" Archived January 18, 2008, at the Wayback Machine, WatchLookListen.
  5. ^ Banda, Tim Kamuzu (2008). "Video queen: Melina Matsoukas", p.2, Daily Nation.
  6. ^ "Venus Zine: Melina Matsoukas" Venus Zine Fall 2010 Issue No. 44
  7. ^ Jodie Smith-Turner to Star Opposite Daniel Kaluuya in ‘Queen & Slim’ (EXCLUSIVE)
  8. ^ "Bjork promo triumphs at UK Music Video Awards | News | Music Week". Music Week. Retrieved 21 August 2018.
  9. ^ "One Direction beat Justin Bieber and Rihanna at MTV awards". The Daily Telegraph. September 7, 2012. Retrieved November 3, 2017.
  10. ^ a b "Melina Matsoukas". National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Retrieved November 3, 2017.
  11. ^ "Here's Your Full List of 2014 VMA Winners". MTV News. Retrieved 21 August 2018.
  12. ^ a b "MTV VMAs 2016: the MTV Video Music Awards – as it happened". The Guardian. August 29, 2016. Retrieved November 3, 2017.
  13. ^ "Beyoncé – Formation". Clios. Retrieved 21 August 2018.
  14. ^ "Beyonce's 'Formation' Music Video Wins Grand Prix at Inaugural Cannes Lions Entertainment for Music Awards". Billboard. Retrieved 21 August 2018.
  15. ^ a b "Melina Matsoukas – Awards". IMDb. Retrieved November 3, 2017.

External links[edit]