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OURIKA! (2022)

written, directed and edited by Xenia Matthews

Step into the eerie space between life and death, between body and soul. In this glamorous surreal sci-fi short, the long-dead Ourika, a Senegalese girl enslaved by a French aristocrat, finds her way back to life and into liberation.

Made through the support of the Blackstar Philadelphia Filmmaker Lab, XFinity, Vimeo, and others.

18 min

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  • New Orleans Film Festival (November 2023)

  • Oak Cliff Film Festival (June 2023)

  • Images Festival (April 2023)

  • Atlanta Film Festival (April 2023)

  • Sundance Film Festival (January 2023) 

  • Indie Memphis Film Festival (October 2022)

  • Blackstar Film Festival (August 2022)

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"OURIKA! is an experience. It...features phenomenally trippy, gory, and hypnotizing practical effects."


"Combining surrealism and art history, Ourika!, directed by Xenia Matthews, points to the colonization of Black women’s bodies"


written, directed and edited by Xenia Matthews

A Few Things I'm Beginning to Understand (2021)

  • National Film Festival for Talented Youth (April 2022)

  • Slamdance Film Festival (January 2022)

  • Denton Black Film Festival (January 2022)

  • Houston Cinema Arts Festival (November 2021)

  • Indie Memphis Film Festival (October 2021)

  • Topaz Film Festival (October 2021)

  • Black Femme Supremacy Film Festival (September 2021)

  • UARTS Film 2021 Thesis Showcase (May 2021)

Surf the glittering channels of Xenia's mind in this highly saturated, musical spectacular where she and an old friend, Pearl, begin making sense of the issues between Xenia and her boyfriend, Keke. 

This film is a true labor of love. Created in the isolation of the pandemic, Matthews uses fragmented form and innovative visuals to assess issues of antiblackness through the intimate lens of young love.

12 min

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  • Indie Memphis Film Festival - Departures Shorts Jury Award
    Awarded by Jury Members Blake Williams + Mackenzie Lukenbill

  • Indie Memphis Film Festival - Departures Shorts Audience Award

  • The Peter Rose Award
    Awarded by the UArts Film department  to one senior who shows innovative and dynamic techniques in filmmaking

  • The Florence Whistler Fish Award for Student Excellence
    Juried from students nominated within the College of Art, Media & Design at UArts, and recognizes one outstanding graduating senior

  • The Shannon D. Moore Award
    top prize for UArts senior film



"Feeling just a little bit like a fever dream, this film takes from the highest of concept art, talk shows, drag, and the lowest of the low brow – all with great humor and admiration...A REMARKABLE CONCEPTUAL PHENOMENON."


"An interdisciplinary short film to be celebrated for its singular voice, vision, and use of glittery objects galore!"


A Few Things

Good Blood (2020)

written, directed and edited by Xenia Matthews

  • Millenium Film Workshop (April 2023)
    One to One: and Artist Talk with Xenia Matthews

  • UARTS Film: CO-VIDS Virtual Film Showcase (July 2020)
    a Fundraiser for the Black Trans Advocacy COVID-19 Community Response Fund

A short vignette about the filmmaker's positive feelings around an abortion.


Color abberations and a performance by Jameka Wilson represent the beauty and the fear, the confusion and the certainty, of the body, of existence, and of any decision pertaining to those things.

4 min.

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Stroke (2019)

written, directed and edited by Xenia Matthews

Using the symptoms of a stroke to guide the cinematography and editing, Matthews explores the shattered relationship between her and her deceased father. The relationship itself is a haunting specter that lingers long after his death.

Featuring performances by Armoni Gilbert and Jordan Ricks, and narration by Xenia Matthews

4 min

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  • Millenium Film Workshop (April 2023)
    One to One: and Artist Talk with Xenia Matthews

  • Fade to Black Film Showcase (February 2021)

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