Mateo Nikolav is a film director, photographer, and producer based in Los Angeles, California.
Originally born and raised in Ecuador, Mateo became passionate about storytelling after living in three different countries during his teenage years. He reflected on his emotional growth and experiences abroad to fifteen thousand of his followers through the blog Lucid Strangers. The recollections consisted of short films, written stories and poems that explored Mateo's evolving identity as a queer person, the liberties and restrictions to express himself that come with travel, and his appreciation for individuals of all backgrounds.

In his work, Mateo enjoys portraying the collective human experience through photography, film and other collaborative mediums. His craft aims to reconcile the unique and divergent aspects of his identity through visual projects that celebrate otherness and reflect on his emotional growth and sensibilities. 
Mateo is committed to new narratives that ask daring questions  and eschew cliches; melding genres to explore authentic narratives that continually break ground on-screen.
Apart from his work as a director, Mateo has over 300 hours of experience working as a digital imaging technician and as a unit photographer in Film and TV productions of all sizes.  He has also helped create marketing materials like title-cards, posters and press kits for clients affiliated with the American Film Institute, Amazon Music, and Warner Media among others.
In 2020, he founded Queer Films Now, an online initiative to uplift queer communities of color with free workshops and grants that provide the necessary tools to jumpstart their filmmaking journeys. QFN's first "Mobile Filmmaking Masterclass" was a great success, with over 15 short film submissions and sponsorship support from companies like LumaTouch, Filmic Inc, Moondog Labs and Final Draft Inc. The following year, Mateo launched Decoded Studio, a creative house that produces original content and offers marketing services for independent productions and small businesses alike. 
​​In 2023, he was selected to participate in the TV Academy's Internship Program, joining Bunim-Murray Productions to collaborate and work with their development team.