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Julie Dash

Julie Dash

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Also Known As: Julie Dash Fielder Died:
Born: October 22, 1952 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: New York City, New York, USA Profession: director, producer, screenwriter, novelist

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Renowned for being almost too ahead of her time, filmmaker Julie Dash was perhaps best known for directing the landmark 1992 period drama "Daughters of the Dust" (1992). Born in New York in 1952, Dash earned her undergraduate degree from the Leonard Davis Center for the Performing Arts at City College of New York, later procuring an MFA from UCLA Film School. Among her first major projects was writing and directing the short "Working Models of Success" (1973) for the New York Urban Coalition. She would then direct short films like "Four Women" (1975) and "Illusions" (1982) in addition to commercials and PSAs. When Dash finally broke through with her feature film debut, "Daughters of the Dust," she became the first African-American woman to have a full-length general theatrical release in the United States. The movie's impeccably curated visuals, intense but subtle themes, and well paced momentum made it a major phenomenon, and yet the film failed to garner Dash new feature film opportunities, as major and even minor studios remained dumbfounded about how to market films made by and about African-American women. She would spend the next several years either making films without the aid of the studio...

Renowned for being almost too ahead of her time, filmmaker Julie Dash was perhaps best known for directing the landmark 1992 period drama "Daughters of the Dust" (1992). Born in New York in 1952, Dash earned her undergraduate degree from the Leonard Davis Center for the Performing Arts at City College of New York, later procuring an MFA from UCLA Film School. Among her first major projects was writing and directing the short "Working Models of Success" (1973) for the New York Urban Coalition. She would then direct short films like "Four Women" (1975) and "Illusions" (1982) in addition to commercials and PSAs. When Dash finally broke through with her feature film debut, "Daughters of the Dust," she became the first African-American woman to have a full-length general theatrical release in the United States. The movie's impeccably curated visuals, intense but subtle themes, and well paced momentum made it a major phenomenon, and yet the film failed to garner Dash new feature film opportunities, as major and even minor studios remained dumbfounded about how to market films made by and about African-American women. She would spend the next several years either making films without the aid of the studio system, like 1999's "Funny Valentines" (1999), or directing movies for TV, like "Incognito" (BET, 1999) and "Love Song" (MTV, 2000). In 2017, Dash returned to the big screen, directing the documentary "Travel Notes of a Geechee Girl" (2017).

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Rosa Parks Story, The (2002) Director
2.
  Love Song (2000) Director
3.
  Subway Stories: Tales From the Underground (1997) Director ("Sax Cantor Riff")
4.
  Praise House (1991) Director
5.
  Daughters of the Dust (1991) Director
6.
  Illusions (1982) Director
7.
  Four Women (1978) Director
8.
  Diary of an African Nun (1977) Director
9.
  Positive: Life With HIV (1996) Segment Director ("Breaths")
10.
  Funny Valentines (1999) Director

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 World Beat (1993)
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Milestones close milestones

:
Raised in the Queensridge housing projects in Long Island City, New York
1968:
First became interested in film making when she visited a friend at a film workshop at the Studio Museum in Harlem
1975:
Directed the short film "Four Women."
1991:
Directed, wrote and co-produced first feature film, "Daughters of the Dust"
1999:
Helmed the TV-movie "Funny Valentines" (BET/Starz!)
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

AFI Conservatory: Los Angeles , California -
AFI Conservatory: - 1974
University of California at Los Angeles: Los Angeles , California -
City College of New York: New York , New York -
Studio Museum: New York , New York -
Center For Advanced Film Studies, American Film Institute: - 1974

Notes

"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

"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

"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

"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)

Family close complete family listing

daughter:
N'Zinga Dash. Born c. 1984; named after Angolan warrior queen.

Bibliography close complete biography

"Daughters of the Dust"

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