In just a few short years, Melina Matsoukas has made an indelible impact on the entertainment industry with her unique aesthetic and skillful ability to craft high-polish projects full of raw energy and artful visual perspectives. The first female director to win MTV’s prestigious Best Video Award for Rihanna’s “We Found Love,” which also earned her a Grammy for Best Long Form Music Video, Melina’s work continues to captivate audiences worldwide – and with over a billion cumulative views on YouTube, numerous critical acclaim, she has established herself in a league truly of her own.
Hailing from New York City, Melina studied at New York University’s prestigious Tisch School of the Arts, with graduate studies completed at the American Film Institute. It was at AFI where she really began to develop her signature visual style, earning her Masters of Fine Arts in Cinematography.
Melina has gone on, and continues to direct high-end commercials for global clients such as Nike, Adidas, Coca-Cola, Diesel, DirectTV, Lexus, Toyota, Rexona, Target and Absolut to name just a few.
Melina works, often repeatedly, with some of the biggest names in the music industry including Jay Z, Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Jennifer Lopez, Katy Perry, Solange, Lil Wayne, Ludacris and Pharrell. In 2011, Melina lent her talents as Creative Director on Beyoncé’s album 4, overseeing all creative elements of the project, including tour aesthetics, music videos, album packaging, editorials, advertising and a perfume launch. For Beyoncé’s follow-up tour with Jay Z, Melina directed Run, a long form music video featuring the couple as well as A-list actors Sean Penn, Jake Gyllenhaal, Blake Lively, Don Cheadle, Guillermo Díaz, Emmy Rossum and Rashida Jones.
The industry accolades have followed. Her short film Negros Negros was nominated for a DGA Award, and she was honored as Director of the Year at the 2009 MVPA Awards. In the years since, Melina has earned numerous awards including Best Pop Video at the MVPAs, UK MVAs People’s Choice Award and the BET Viewer’s Choice Award. She has been nominated for the London International Award and was a finalist for a Ciclope. In 2013, Melina’s “Losing You” video for Solange won Best Pop Video at the UK MVAs, as well as Best Direction of a Female Artist and Best Direction of a New Artist at the MVPAs. Her video for Beyonce’s “Pretty Hurts” won the 2014 VMA for Best Video with a Social Message.
Since joining PRETTYBIRD’s roster, Melina continues to create provocative and high-concept films for leading clients and artists with a unique perspective and voice. In her most recent collaboration with Beyoncé, Melina directed her surprise new music video for “Formation” featuring a black power message, Katrina-inspired visuals and dropped the day before the performer’s earth-shattering Super Bowl 50 performance.
Melina is also directing Insecure for HBO, her first scripted television show, created by and starring comedian Issa Rae.