Protected: Matthew A. Cherry
Academy Award–winning filmmaker Matthew A. Cherry is a Chicago native and a former NFL wide receiver who played for the Jacksonville Jaguars, Cincinnati Bengals, Carolina Panthers, and the Baltimore Ravens.
In 2007, Cherry retired and moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in entertainment, landing work as a production assistant on over 40 commercials and as a director for over 20 music videos. Cherry received his first directorial credit in 2008 for a music video featuring R&B artist Terry Dexter.
Since then, Cherry has gone on to direct music videos for various artists, including Michelle Williams featuring Beyoncé and Kelly Rowland, Tweet, Jazmine Sullivan, Lalah Hathaway, Kindred The Family Soul, Snoop Dogg, The Foreign Exchange, Bilal, N’Dambi, Maysa Leak, Dwele, Najee, K’Jon, and Chloe X Halle.
In addition to directing music videos, Cherry directed the short film titled “This Time,” starring Reagan Gomez-Preston and Terri J. Vaughn, and recently released a new short film titled “Forward,” which premiered on Ebony.com. Cherry also writes and directs web series like the award-winning series “Almost 30” and “Almost Home.”
Cherry is also a feature filmmaker and his first feature film, The Last Fall, which starred Lance Gross, Nicole Beharie, Vanessa Bell Calloway, Keith David, Harry Lennix, and Darrin Dewitt Henson. The Last Fall made its world premiere at SXSW in 2012 and received awards at the American Black Film Festival (ABFF) for Best Screenplay and Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival (MVAFF) for the HBO Best Feature Film Award. After a limited theatrical release, The Last Fall was acquired by Image Entertainment and made its television premiere on BET in December 2012 and is currently streaming on Netflix and Hulu.
Cherry’s latest feature film 9 Rides premiered at SXSW in 2016 in the Narrative Spotlight category and stars Dorian Missick, Omar Dorsey, Robinne Lee, Xosha Roquemore, Amin Joseph, Skye P. Marshall, Thomas Q. Jones, and Tracie Thoms. The film, about an Uber driver who receives life-changing news on New Year’s Eve, was shot entirely on an iPhone 6s.
In television, Cherry has directed the TBS series The Last OG with Tracy Morgan and Tiffany Haddish, the CBS drama event series The Red Line executive produced by Ava DuVernay and Greg Berlanti, the ABC action-comedy series Whiskey Cavalier, which stars Scott Foley and Laura Cohan, CBS’ The Unicorn, and most recently, ABC’s hit series black-ish and mixed-ish.
Cherry also served as an executive producer on the Academy Award®-nominated film BlackKklansman from Spike Lee while working as a film executive at Jordan Peele’s production company, Monkeypaw Productions.
Cherry’s latest project “Hair Love” is an animated short film about an African American father attempting to do his daughters hair for the first time. The short, which made its theatrical debut in August 2019 with Sony Pictures Animation’s The Angry Birds Movie 2, won the Academy Award in 2020 for Best Animated Short Film and has an accompanying picture book which is a The New York Times Bestseller.