This year, we are delighted to welcome filmmaker Cheryl Dunye. In addition to her work as a director, producer, and writer, Dunye is the founder of Jingletown Films, a production company focused on providing a platform for storytellers and filmmakers that identify as people of color and/or queer. Dunye's own work frequently touches on themes of race, sexuality, gender, and intersectional identity.
Dunye emerged as part of the “Queer New Wave” of young filmmakers in the early 1990s. Her first feature film, THE WATERMELON WOMAN (1996), won the Teddy Award for Best Feature at the 1996 Berlin International Film Festival. In 2015, Dunye’s multi-award-winning short film BLACK IS BLUE (2014) was named one of the top five "Must See Feminist Films" by IndieWire. In 2016, Dunye received the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship in the field of Filmmaking.
In recent years, Dunye has applied her filmmaking talent in television, first by joining Ava DuVernay and Oprah Winfrey for two episodes on Season 2 of OWN’s QUEEN SUGAR. She has further worked on CLAWS for TNT, THE FOSTERS for Freeform, THE CHI for Showtime, STAR for Fox, DEAR WHITE PEOPLE for Netflix, DAVID MAKES MAN and LOVE IS for OWN, LOVECRAFT COUNTRY for HBO, and ALL RISE for CBS, among others.
Dunye is currently developing two television projects: adapting Jewelle Gomez’s classic novel The Gilda Stories and adapting her own film ADVENTURES IN THE 419, a portrait of fraud, greed, and mistrust set in the world of Nigerian con artists based in Amsterdam.
In her lecture, Dunye will identify what forces influence her work, describe her personal and collaborative processes, discuss the intersectionality highlighted in her films, and define for the audience her “Dunyementary” style—blending the personal and the political, documentary and fiction, and comedy and drama, all in the service of challenging cultural and social norms.