‘Insecure’s Melina Matsoukas and ‘Moonlight’ Director Barry Jenkins to Judge Elton John Video Competition

Both Barry Jenkins and Melina Matsoukas have been winning big over the last year. While Matsoukas continues to receive praise for HBO’s Insecure and Beyoncé‘s short film Lemonade, Jenkin’s Moonlight recently took home Best Picture at the 74th Annual Golden Globe awards. Fortunately, the two have no plans of slowing down.

Along with Dreamworks Animation CEO, Jeffrey Katzenberg, the talented pair have recently been scouted as judges for Elton John‘s new music video contest, Elton John: The Cut. Run by YouTube, amateur filmmakers will compete by creating official music videos for his classic jams “Rocket Man,” “Tiny Dancer,” and “Bennie and the Jets.” Elton John alongside his writing partner, Bernie Taupin, announced their upcoming contest in celebration of their partnership of 50 years. “We’re excited to partner with YouTube to bring together generations of artists and music lovers around a shared passion for storytelling,” Elton John shared in a statement. “YouTube is a rich tapestry of creativity, and I can’t wait to see how the breadth of talent from the dance, live-action and animation communities apply their vision to these cherished songs.”

The criteria will be based on three specific genres of film: “Rocket Man” will highlight animation, “Tiny Dancer” will feature live-action and “Bennie and the Jets” will showcase choreography, which allows one winner for each. The three lucky filmmakers will be given the opportunity to collab with Pulse Films, the team behind Beyoncé’s Lemonade, to produce the final versions of their project, which will debut in Summer 2017. Additionally, the winners will also receive $10,000 for “future endeavors.” The competition will close on January 23rd.

On behalf of Jenkins participation in the competition, a donation of $20,000 will also be made to the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center. Check out the promotional video above.

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