Beyonce Surprises Melina Matsoukas at AFI Life Achievement Award Gala

Having worked with the director on several music videos through the years, the 'Formation' singer praises her 'fearless' collaborator when presenting her with the Franklin J. Schaffner Alumni Medal.

AceShowbiz - Beyonce Knowles made a surprise appearance at the 47th AFI Life Achievement Award gala tribute to Denzel Washington on Thursday night, June 06, to honour director and longtime collaborator Melina Matsoukas.

The "Halo" hitmaker has worked with Matsoukas on several music videos through the years - including "Diva", "Sweet Dreams" and "Formation" - and the star showed up at the event at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, California to present the creative with the Franklin J. Schaffner Alumni Medal.

The accolade honours creators embodying the qualities of "talent, taste, dedication, and commitment to quality storytelling in film and television," and the 37-year-old praised Matsoukas for telling "stories that are thought-provoking, dramatic, funny, and real."

"(Matsoukas) is holding up a mirror for people who look like you and me to see ourselves, saying, 'You are beautiful, and your stories matter,' " the mother-of-three gushed. "She is fearless, no matter the challenges, and believes in breaking stereotypes in the industry, hiring marginalised creators, especially women. As a woman of colour, conformity is not her thing. She stays authentic to her roots and femininity in an industry dominated by men. Her drive, vision, taste level, and storytelling is boldly unapologetic."

Visibly moved by the star's sweet words, 38-year-old Matsoukas, who directed the Emmy award-winning "Master of None" episode "Thanksgiving", referred to the "Crazy in Love" hitmaker as "my first sister," and added, "She truly influenced my career."

"She taught me how to work, how to dream, and how to achieve. And most importantly as an artist, how to take control of your own narrative. Without her, I'm not the same voice, I'm not the same creator, and I'm definitely not the same filmmaker."

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