“Queen & Slim” filmmaker and “Insecure” executive producer and director Melina Matsoukas is paying it forward, bringing her extensive filmmaking expertise to the youth and joining Ghetto Film School’s Board of Directors.
“In my career I’ve had two guiding ambitions, one is to tell the stories of underrepresented people in ways that expand our collective consciousness and the other is to find all the ways I can help young artists and filmmakers tell their own stories in their own voices,” Matsoukas said in a statement. “I’m honored to join the board of Ghetto Film School, an organization I’ve long admired, and to work with them in expanding access to film education and fostering young talent.”
Matsoukas is also a two-time Grammy-winning music video director, collecting trophies for Beyonce’s “Formation” and Rihanna and Calvin Harris’ “We Found Love.”
In joining Ghetto Film School’s leadership team, Matsoukas will serve with board chair Neal Arthur, vice-chair Sheril Antonio, Ph.D., treasurer Tiffany R. Warren, secretary Katherine Oliver, and members Universal Pictures’ Peter Cramer, Oscar-nominated filmmaker Lee Daniels, Matthew Hiltzik, James Murdoch, and Erika Olde Coggin in working to support the nonprofit’s aims.
“Melina is a born-and-raised New Yorker from the Bronx, whose background and passion for art has provided her with a deep understanding that young people can use filmmaking to tell their own stories- which is the exact reason GFS was founded,” Montea Robinson, Executive Director of Ghetto Film School, L.A., said of the partnership.
Robinson continued: “Her work is a testament to her roots and she eloquently expresses authentic, yet complex messages that many of our students identify with. We are grateful for her commitment to the organization and our students.”
Founded in 2000 in the South Bronx, Ghetto Film School works to provide young people with high-quality film education. With locations in both Los Angeles and London, the award-winning nonprofit has grown to become one of the most elite and inclusive film academy’s in the world.
This news comes on the heels of the announcement that Matsoukas inked a first-look film deal with MGM, through her production company De La Revolución Films. The two-year deal reunites Matsoukas with MGM Film Group president Pamela Abdy, who worked together on “Queen and Slim.”
“Queen and Slim” was Matsoukas’ feature directorial debut and earned the filmmaker a DGA nomination for first-time feature. The romantic drama, which starred Daniel Kaluuya and Jodie Turner-Smith, was produced and written by Lena Waithe. The same year, the American Film Institute alum, received the organization’s 29th Franklin J. Schaffner Alumni Medal. Matsoukas is also an alumnus of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.