Villified by conservatives in Congress and labeled "the lesbian Spike Lee," Cheryl Dunye has created a provocative, humorous and insightful body of independent film. Dunye wrote, directed and starred in the first African American lesbian feature film, The Watermelon Woman. It was awarded the Teddy Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival and best feature in L.A.'s OutFest, Italy's Torino, and France's Creteil Film Festivals. Dunye's other works have been included in the Whitney Biennial and featured at major international festivals, including Sundance, Berlin, Toronto, and Hong Kong. In addition Dunye has received grants from the National Endowment of the Arts and is a fellow of the Rockefeller Foundation. She currently teaches filmmaking at UCLA and the University of California/Riverside. Tonight she will screen and discuss: The Stranger Inside Residency Documentary (2001, DVD, 20 min) This engaging video documents Dunye's 1999 Artist Residency at the Walker Art Center where she led a screen writing workshop at Minnesota Correctional Facility for Women in Shakopee. Highlights include script readings with inmates and local actors, as well as her collaboration with renowned photographer Cathy Opie to recreate "mugshots of female inmates" Dunye found while researching at the Minnesota History Center. The Early Works of Cheryl Dunye (2008, DVD, 80 min) The filmmaker will select some of her early work from this not-yet-released compilation, possibly including Janine, Vanilla Sex and An Untitled Portrait.
Co-sponsored by Center for Gender Studies