Julie Dash

Director, Screenwriter, Producer
Independent African-American filmmaker whose first short, "Diary of an African Nun" (1977), was adapted from a short story by Alice Walker. "Four Women" (1978) is a "choreopoem" based on the Nina Simone song of the same ... Read more »
Born: 10/21/1952 in New York City, New York, USA

Filmography

Director (13)

Alive TV 1984 - 2001 (Tv Show)

Segment Director

Women: Stories of Passion 1996 - 2001 (Tv Show)

Director

Incognito 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Director

Subway Stories: Tales From the Underground 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Director

Daughters of the Dust 1992 (Movie)

(Director)

Praise House 1990 (Movie)

(Director)

Illusions 1981 (Movie)

(Director)

Four Women 1977 (Movie)

(Director)

Diary of an African Nun 1976 (Movie)

(Director)

Funny Valentines (TV Show)

Director

Love Song (TV Show)

Director

Positive: Life With HIV (TV Show)

Segment Director

The Rosa Parks Story (TV Show)

Director
Actor (4)

American Cinema 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Actor

Dialogue With Black Filmmakers 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

World Beat 1992 (Movie)

(Actor)
Producer (4)

Alternative Film 2014 (Movie)

(Producer)

Psychopathia Sexualis (2001) 2014 (Movie)

(Associate Producer)

Daughters of the Dust 1992 (Movie)

(Producer)
Writer (1)

Daughters of the Dust 1992 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Biography

Independent African-American filmmaker whose first short, "Diary of an African Nun" (1977), was adapted from a short story by Alice Walker. "Four Women" (1978) is a "choreopoem" based on the Nina Simone song of the same title and "Illusions" (1982) is about a black woman executive passing for white in 1940s Hollywood.

After almost six years of fundraising, Dash completed her first feature, "Daughters of the Dust" (1992). Set at the turn of the century, the stunningly photographed film is an impressionistic portrait of an African-American family--descendants of West African slaves--just as they are about to give up their insular customs and unique "Gullah" language to travel north to the newly industrialized land of "milk and honey". "Daughters" was the first feature-length film by an American-born black female filmmaker to be released commercially in the United States.

Relationships

N'Zinga Dash

Daughter
born c. 1984 named after Angolan warrior queen

EDUCATION

University of California at Los Angeles

Los Angeles , California
studied at film school in the 1970s

AFI Conservatory

Los Angeles , California
studied film as an undergraduate

Center For Advanced Film Studies, American Film Institute

1974

Studio Museum

New York , New York
studied film making in Harlem in the late 1960s

City College of New York

New York , New York
graduated

AFI Conservatory

1974

Milestones

1999

Helmed the TV-movie "Funny Valentines" (BET/Starz!)

1991

Directed, wrote and co-produced first feature film, "Daughters of the Dust"

1978

Directed first film, "Four Women"

1968

First became interested in film making when she visited a friend at a film workshop at the Studio Museum in Harlem

Raised in the Queensridge housing projects in Long Island City, New York

Bonus Trivia

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"It is a matter of black people putting up money to finance their own projects . . . and a matter of getting Hollywood to put its marketing dollars--and its faith--into offbeat black films or those not centered on hormone-driven adolescents. 'Waiting to Exhale' made $100 million worldwide. Where's our 'English Patient'? Where's our 'Schindler's List'? Where's our 'Unbearable Lightness of Being'? I know alternative films are appreciated. They are life-enhancing, if you will. I know how I feel when I see a good film." --Julie Dash to NEW YORK TIMES, December 3, 1997

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"I like telling stories and controllng worlds. In my world, black women can do anything. They ride horses and fly from trapezes; they are in the future as well as in the past." --Julie Dash in THE NEW YORK TIMES, February 13, 1992

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"The image of the black revolutionary was neutralized through caricature during the blaxploitation era. He was made to seem weak and a phony. Now there exists a fear of black people using our culture to make statements in code. It's the modern variation on the fear that led slaveholders to take our drums away." --Julie Dash quoted in VILLAGE VOCIE, ", April 12, 1988

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"Dash's personal demeanor suggests both dreamy-eyed fabulist and focused professional. Her attitude on the set is casual but only because her preproduction work is meticulous...Day charts detail the entire two-week shoot [her grant monies only carrying her part way through production]. Once Dash sets up her shots, and sound and camera get rolling, the action plays until the takes sync with her vision. Her mood on the set is chillmaximus."--Greg Tate ("The Village Voice", April 12, 1988)

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