In just a few short years, filmmaker Melina Matsoukas has made an indelible impact on the industry with her unique visual style and skillful ability to craft high-polish projects full of raw energy. The first female director to win MTV’s prestigious Best Video Award for Rihanna’s “We Found Love” in 2012, which also earned her a Grammy for Best Long Form Music Video, Melina has captivated audiences worldwide, earning over a billion cumulative hits on YouTube — garnering great acclaim for her work and establishing 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 truly developed her style, earning her Masters of Fine Arts in cinematography.
Melina has gone on to direct over thirty celebrated music videos and commercials for such high profile clients as Adidas, Coca-Cola, Diesel, DirectTV, Lexus, Nike, Rexona, Target, as well as a PSA on behalf of the Illinois Council on Developmental Disabilities, a non-profit advocacy group working to improve the life of those living with disabilities.
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, Lily Allen, Solange, Snoop Dogg, Lil Wayne, Ludacris, Pharrell, NeYo, Leona Lewis, Ciara, Keri Hilson, Ashanti and Kylie Minogue. In 2011, Melina lent her talents as Creative Director on Beyoncé’s album 4, encompassing all elements of the project, including tour aesthetics, music videos, album packaging, editorials, advertising and a perfume launch.
Melina’s accolades are manifold. 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. Since, Melina has earned everything from Best Pop Video at the MVPA Awards and Best Video at the MOBO Awards to the UK MVAs People’s Choice Award and the BET Viewer’s Choice Award. She has been nominated for multiple MTV VMA awards, the London International Award and the MTV EMA Best Video 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.
On PRETTYBIRD’s roster since 2011, Melina continues to create provocative and high-concept films with a unique perspective and voice. Her latest film, Run, is a long form music video teasing the upcoming Jay Z and Beyoncé tour. The video which features the couple as well as Sean Penn, Jake Gyllenhaal, Blake Lively, Don Cheadle, Guillermo Díaz, Emmy Rossum, Rashida Jones, and Kidada Jones, has racked up almost nine million views on YouTube to date.