AUX Performance Space
Friday, May 17 at 8pm
The Watermelon Woman
dir. Cheryl Dunye, US, 1997, DVD, 85 min.
Cheryl Dunye’s debut feature is as controversial as it is sexy and funny. Cheryl is a twenty-something black lesbian working as a clerk in a video store while struggling to make a documentary about Fae Richards, an obscure black actress from the 1930’s.
Cheryl Dunye a native of Liberia received her BA from Temple University and her MFA from Rutgers University’s Mason Gross School of the Arts.
Dunye has received numerous national and international honors for her work in the media arts. Her fourth feature film THE OWLS, was celebrated at national and international film festivals in 2010. Her third feature film, Miramax’s, MY BABY’S DADDY, was a box office success and played at theaters nationwide. Dunye’s second feature, the acclaimed HBO Films, STRANGER INSIDE, garnered Dunye an Independent Spirit award nomination for best director in 2002. Dunye wrote, directed and starred in her first film which was 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 screened at festivals in New York, London, Tokyo, Cape Town, Amsterdam and Sydney.
Dunye has served on the Directors Guild of America’s Independent Council and on the advisory board for New York’s Independent Film Project’s Gordon Parks Award. She was also a mentor for IFP/ West Project Involve and a board member of Los Angeles OUTFEST. Presently she is Vice President of the Board of Directors for the Queer Cultural Center, sits on the board of Radar Productions, and is on the advisory board of Queer Women of Color Media Arts Project. In addition, Dunye has received grants from the Astraea Foundation and Frameline; a recipient of a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts; a fellow of the Rockefeller Foundation; and graced with the prestigious Anonymous was a Woman Award as well as a lifetime achievement award from Girlfriend’s Magazine.
Ladyfest Philadelphia is excited to announce a film series that will take place during the month of May at AUX and International House Philadelphia. The four-part series celebrates a history of intersections between feminism, art, and the moving image. Spanning from some of the earliest films made by women up to contemporary videos that explore female and queer identities, the choice of works in the series uses Ladyfest’s origin in the RiotGrrrl movement as a touchstone while also seeking to expand upon and give context to this history. Please visit Ladyfest Philadelphia’s website for more information and updates.
About Ladyfest Philadelphia
The first Ladyfest took place in Olympia, Washington in August 2000. Since then, hundreds of iterations of the festival have happened across the globe. No two events look the same — each responds to the needs of its particular community and time.
In 2003, Philadelphia hosted its first and only Ladyfest, which featured dance, spoken word, film, music, visual arts, and workshops at venues across the city. Ten years later, we thought it was time to do it again. Ladyfest Philadelphia will take place June 7-9, 2013 at The Rotunda and other spaces in West Philadelphia. All proceeds from the festival after costs will benefit Project Safe and Women in Transition.
Ladyfest Philadelphia is a grassroots event dedicated to the artistic, organizational, and political work of women, trans, genderqueer, intersex, and queer people, and their allies. Ladyfest combats substantive, cultural, and structural inequalities by building upon the existing Philadelphia community of artists, musicians, and activists. It aims to foster a more inclusive and safe environment through performances, workshops, panels, opportunities for collaboration, and more.