Melina Matsoukas, Howard University team up for Instagram’s ‘Future First’ challenge

Matsoukas is known for films like 'Queen and Slim' and also helped produce the visuals for Beyoncé's 'Lemonade'

Melina Matsoukas is teaming up with Howard University.

The producer and director to the stars and Howard University are working together on a new scholarship opportunity that will award lucky winners a $10,000 production stipend. The Instagram x Share Black Stories ‘Future First’ Reels Challenge was announced on Feb. 8 and aims to amplify stories by Black storytellers.

Melina Matsoukas
(Credit: Getty Images)

“What an incredible opportunity for the students of Howard University’s Cathy Hughes School of Communications to be working with Instagram Reels, in conjunction with world renowned director Melina Matsoukas, “ Associate Professor C. L. Tina Morton, the university liaison on this partnership, said in the formal press release.

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“Students will create their visual ideas of Black Excellence, and five students will be the recipients of a $10,000.00 prize for their juried work, selected by Melina Matsoukas.”    

Instagram has created the #ShareBlackStories initiative in solidarity with Black History Month which encourages the production of work that reflects the Black diaspora on the platform.

“Having the ability to create in these spaces and have hundreds of thousands, or millions of people, immediately be able to see, react, respond and be affected by your work is so powerful,” said Matsoukas.

Melina Matsoukas
(Photo by Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images for BET)

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Matsoukas is known for directing films like Queen and Slim. She also helped produce the visuals for Beyoncé’s Lemonade.

“The internet and social media have had a significant impact on the world of media and entertainment, and I am filled with gratitude for this opportunity to work with an historic institution like Howard University, and the team at Instagram, to mentor the next generation of artists, to share what I’ve learned, and to learn from them, too.” 

The award is open to only Howard University Department of Media, Journalism and Film students. The stipend is designed to aid production costs. The chosen winners will also be mentored by Matsoukas and Howard educators and advisors.

Winners will have their content earmarked for sharing across Instagram’s digital audience.

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