Julie Dash

Born in New York City, Julie Dash is a filmmaker, music video and commercial director, author and website creator. Her film studies began in Harlem in 1969, but eventually led her to the American Film Institute and UCLA, where she made THE DIARY OF AN AFRICAN NUN (1977), based on a short story by Alice Walker, which won a student award from the Directors Guild of America. Dash’s critically acclaimed short film ILLUSIONS (1982) later won the Jury Prize for Best Film of the Decade awarded by the Black Filmmakers Foundation.

Dash’s first feature — DAUGHTERS OF THE DUST (1991) — was the first film by an African American woman to receive a general theatrical release in the United States; the Library of Congress named it to the National Film Registry in 2004. Dash returned to the film’s characters and their Gullah milieu in her novel of the same title, published in 1999.

Her television films include LOVE SONG (2000), starring R&B singer Monica Arnold, the romantic thriller INCOGNITO (1999), and the domestic drama FUNNY VALENTINES (1999). Dash was nominated for a Directors Guild Award for THE ROSA PARKS STORY (2002) starring Angela Bassett.

She has directed music videos for Tony! Toni! Toné!, Keb’ Mo’, Peabo Bryson, Adriana Evans, Sweet Honey in the Rock and Tracy Chapman.

When not working on her projects, Dash is a frequent lecturer at many leading universities, including Stanford University, Princeton, Harvard and Yale.

AVAILABLE FROM TWN

Four Women
Julie Dash
1979, 7 min., Color, US
An imaginatively choreographed dance interpretation of the ballad by Nina Simone on four common stereotypes of Black women....

Illusions
Julie Dash
1983, 34 min., BW, US
Set in a fictitious Hollywood studio in 1942, this elegant drama contrasts society's views of Black women with their self-perceptions. An ambitious movie executive, Mignon Dupree is perceived by her associates as white; she passes. While she is proud of her African American heritage, she considers ...

Praise House
Julie Dash
1991, 30 min., Color, US
This video uses stunningly beautiful and innovative techniques to tell the story of a young woman moved to dance by a powerful and creative spirit. Despite her mother's disinterest, Hannah is driven to express herself artistically by angels that only she and her grandmother can see. Set and filmed i...


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