Grammy-winning music video director, Melina Matsoukas will be honoured at the 2020 Black Women in Hollywood Awards.
Melina comes from a very multicultural family, her mother is Afro-Cuban and Jamaican, and her father is Greek and Jewish.
She is known as the 'Queen of Music Videos' as she has created the hottest video clips for the most famous pop singers including Beyoncé, Rihanna, Jennifer Lopez, Whitney Huston, Lady Gaga, Jay Z, Katy Perry, Kylie Minogue, Leona Lewis, Snoop Dog and many more.
Melina will be honoured alongside Emmy winner Niecy Nash, the groundbreaking cast of the hit TV series 'Pose', and 'Captain Marvel' actress Lashana Lynch.
Essence, the number one media, technology and commerce company dedicated to Black women globally, will be hosting the event on Thursday, February 6, 2020 at the Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills, California, three days before the 92nd Academy Awards.
"For Matsoukas, a first-time feature director, the audience she’s aiming to reach with Queen & Slim is clear: While it’s for general consumption, it’s particularly for Black people to remember who they are. “I’m just trying to speak to us—from us, by us,” she says. “I’m a Black woman, and I just speak my truth.” Born and bred in the Bronx, the daughter of a Jamaican and Afro-Cuban mom and a Greek and Jewish father, Matsoukas developed an artistic clarity that prepared her for her earlier work, shaping music videos for music’s biggest stars: Beyoncé, Whitney Houston, Rihanna, J. Lo and more. That work garnered her Grammy Awards for music direction for Rihanna’s “We Found Love” and Beyoncé’s “Formation.” However, in 2017, a career-shifting stint directing Lena Waithe’s award-winning “Thanksgiving” episode of Master of None solidified their collaboration and led Matsoukas and Waithe to team up for Queen & Slim. Waithe pens the script from a story by author James Trey, while Matsoukas makes her big-screen debut with the assurance of a born storyteller. “This film really taught me to trust my instincts and to know that we -matter," Joi-Marie McKenzie, senior entertainment editor at Essence magazine stated.
Essence Chief Content & Creative Officer, MoAna Luu further added that "Essence is thrilled to commemorate the creative and critical achievements of black women as originators, nurturers, makers and creators. Whether they're reclaiming our culture or dismantling traditional gender idea, each of our honorees uplift us as they present their unique gifts on the screen and behind the camera."
*Image courtesy of Melina Matsoukas' Instagram