In recent years, we’ve come to realize visibility doesn’t only matter in front of the camera, we need women and people of color behind the scenes calling the shots, particularly from the director’s chair.
That’s exactly what these 10 Black women are doing, whether on the set of cable and network TV shows or feature films. They’re unparalleled in their creativity and unapologetically bold in their mission to tell our stories. And for that, we salute them. Here are 10 Black female directors making major moves, brought to you by Nissan.
Melina Matsoukas has long been a force in the entertainment industry, having directed the videos of some of the biggest female names in pop music and R&B, like Katy Perry, Rihanna, Beyoncé and Solange. In fact, the 36-year-old won two Grammy’s for her direction of “We Found Love” in 2013 and “Formation” in 2017. And in 2016, Matsoukas made her television directorial debut with Issa Rae’s hit HBO series, “Insecure,” for which she was nominated for an NAACP Image Award last year for Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series. She also directed two episodes of the last season of Aziz Ansari’s critically acclaimed Netflix series “Master of None.”
Dee Rees is the name to know this award season with her direction of the period drama “Mudbound” making it the first Netflix film that could be nominated for an Academy Award. But the critical acclaim isn’t new to the 40-year-old screenwriter and director whose 2011 semi-autobiographical feature film “Pariah” was widely lauded. And in 2015, Rees’ HBO TV film “Bessie” took home four Primetime Emmy Awards.
Millicent B. Shelton
You may not know Millicent Shelton’s name but you most definitely know her work. The St. Louis native’s directing credits include some of our favorite TV shows, from “Girlfriends” to “Everybody Hates Chris” and “The Bernie Mac Show.” Plus she directed the 1998 motion…