What did you think when Issa Rae said “Congratulations to those men” as she announced the best director Oscar nominees?Ha! “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. Both her name and surname are Greek: Μελίνα Ματσούκα. He had just moved here, trying to make a better life for himself, but all they saw was a black man who was a threat. And, it’s where Tamir Rice [a 12-year-old African American boy who was killed in 2014] was gunned down by a racist police officer. Both of those women are tremendous forces in their own right, and business women, so I’ve been taught well! The opportunities are few and far between, and when we’re given them we have to deliver and be prepared for them in a way that our white counterparts don’t. !” That really stuck with me. Melina is the daughter of Diana-Elena and David Matsoukas. What do you make of it?Yeah, it’s understandable. Your leads are played by black British actors, but the film seems very much about black America. “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. In television, it was [Insecure creator] Issa Rae, and now it’s Lena, but black women have really been the forces behind my success. Greek-American Melina studied at the American Film Institute and at the University of New York. I don’t want to speak for [Daniel Kaluuya], but he had his own experiences with police brutality in London growing up. 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. Lo and more. Available for everyone, funded by readers. Matsoukas grew up in Co-op City a housing development in the Bronx. I had never really seen that connection between two people who looked like our Queen and Slim, like Jodie and Daniel. Melina comes from a very multicultural family, her mother is Afro-Cuban and Jamaican, and her father is Greek and Jewish. Matsoukas was born in New York, lives in Los Angeles, and is of Greek, Jewish, Afro-Cuban and Afro-Jamaican descent. Melina will be honoured alongside Emmy winner Niecy Nash, the groundbreaking cast of the hit TV series ‘Pose’, and ‘Captain Marvel’ actress Lashana Lynch. All rights reserved. In the movie, Slim asks: “Why do black people always feel the need to be excellent?” Do you also feel that pressure yourself?Yeah, absolutely, I think that’s something that all black people can relate to. FILE - This Oct. 27, 2019 file photo shows director Melina Matsoukas at the Governors Awards in Los Angeles. This image released by FX shows Billy Porter in a scene from "Pose." Can you talk about your relationship with the Knowles sisters, Beyoncé and Solange?It was Beyoncé who took a risk on me when I was a very young film-maker in music videos. Lynch is set to appear in the James Bond film "No Time to Die," to hit U.S. theaters on April 10. My first memory of police brutality was when they killed this young man named Amadou Diallo [in 1999], an African immigrant living in the Bronx. I also think about when I went to film school and they said: “Hey, casting a black woman as your lead won’t be profitable.”. But I think it’s really great training for understanding how to build a world. As ESSENCE celebrates 50 years of the power of our presence, we are proud to salute them all. Her father worked as a builder, and her mother taught math in a local high school. Billy Porter, who won an Emmy for his role on "Pose" last year, will be a presenter at the awards luncheon. 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. She has also directed episodes of TV shows Master of None and Insecure. “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. Essence Communications, the media company dedicated to black women that hosts the annual pre-Oscars luncheon, announced Thursday that the event will take place Feb. 6 at the Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills, California — three days before the 92nd Academy Awards. I just had an incredible birthday dinner on Tuesday at Majordomo, which is David Chang’s restaurant in LA. I like the quick changes and the creativity”, says the self-made girl. The Queen & Slim director on working with Beyoncé, filming in a polar vortex and being told that casting a black woman in a lead role isn’t profitable, Sat 25 Jan 2020 12.00 EST Her graduate thesis was on music videos. I am a film-maker who likes to reflect the times and I feel there’s a need to [do that] to create change. The cast of the groundbreaking series will be honored at the 2020 Black Women in Hollywood Awards. When Matsoukas was eight, the family moved to Hackensack, New Jersey. What was the last great meal you ate?Yes! I was brought up going to marches and fighting and understanding that we all have a purpose in life and we need to use our privilege to bring equality to the world. Until there’s true diversity within those spaces, they’re going to reflect the values of those people. I remember growing up in the Bronx and visiting the apartment building where he was gunned down – that made an incredible impact on my life. "Pose" writer-director-producer Janet Mock will be honored at the event alongside members of the show's cast, including Mj Rodriguez, Indya Moore, Dominique Jackson, Angelica Ross and Hailie Sahar. Her debut feature film, Queen & Slim, is written by Lena Waithe and stars Jodie Turner-Smith and Daniel Kaluuya as an African American couple on a first date who are forced to go on the run when one shoots a white police officer in self-defence. I feel [the all-male list] is reflective of the bodies that are in power. © 2020 Guardian News & Media Limited or its affiliated companies. One day we couldn’t even shoot outside, we had to rig the car inside a warehouse. So I actually welcome those kind of conversations. 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. Melina Matsoukas (born January 14, 1981) is an American music video, film, commercial … What stories of black love did you grow up with?I didn’t really feel like I grew up seeing two dark-skinned people fall in love on screen. Queen and Slim begin their journey in Cleveland and travel south to Cuba – it’s a reverse slave escape narrative.Lena [Waithe] wrote Cleveland because it has the death penalty. Melina Matsoukas: ‘I didn't grow up seeing dark-skinned people fall in love on screen’. “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. 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. "Whether they're reclaiming our culture or dismantling traditional gender ideas, each of our honorees uplift us as they present their unique gifts on the screen and behind the camera. In order to create discussion you have to disrupt, and it’s going to make people uncomfortable at times. The historical archive of the National Herald, Ikaria Resident Describes the Earthquake to TNH, Large Earthquake Strikes Samos, Topples Buildings in Turkey (Pics & Vids). Melina Matsoukas is a Greek American director of music videos and commercials. Matsoukas was born in New York, lives in Los Angeles, and is of Greek, Jewish, Afro-Cuban and Afro-Jamaican descent. “I’m just trying to speak to us—from us, by us,” she says. I hear you’re a bit of a foodie. 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, Melina Matsoukas, ‘Queen of Music Videos’ to be honoured by Essence, Jennifer Lopez secretly holidays in Crete, Lime scooters may not be around for much long in Athens, Nia Vardalos asks fans on social media to donate to charity using #BigFatDonation, Greek Australian fashion designer Alex Perry closes his flagship store, Stefanos Tsitsipas was the most searched person on Greek Google in 2019, John Stamos lists his Beverly Hills home for $6.75 million. Your leads are played by … Her father is of half Greek and half Jewish descent, and her mother is of Afro-Cuban and Afro-Jamaican descent. Her father is of one half Greek and one half Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry. Essence Communications, the media company dedicated to black women that hosts the annual pre-Oscars luncheon, announced Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020 that event will take place Feb. 6 at the Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills, Calif., three days before the 92nd Academy Awards. Last modified on Mon 27 Jan 2020 08.21 EST. How does one navigate a polar vortex?Every 15 minutes we’d have to go inside and drink soup and take breaks so people wouldn’t get frostbite. I knew that it was important for our story to start there. What did you learn from that part of your career?From music videos, there’s a stigma this isn’t true film-making. When Matsoukas was eight, the family moved to Hackensack, New Jersey. Melina Matsoukas is an American music video, film, commercial, and television director. They said it to the entire class, not just me, but I’m sitting in the class looking around like: “No one else heard this? Is that something you inherited?My parents were definitely activists. Your parents were very politically active. 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. So to me, police brutality in America is something that is not an African American issue, it’s a black issue. Melina Matsoukas, 39, directed some of the most acclaimed music videos of the 2010s, including Rihanna’s We Found Love, Solange’s Losing You and Beyoncé’s Formation, for which she won a Grammy. That genre isn’t respected in the same way. I put it up on my Insta story – I loved it, I think she’s always outspoken. Cleveland was also the last stop on the Underground Railroad before slaves would get to Canada. Her father worked as a builder, and her mother taught math in a local high school.
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