Trailblazing through the Decades: Gina Prince-Bythewood (2000s)

Trailblazing through the Decades: Gina Prince-Bythewood (2000s)

In 2000, writer, director, and past NYWIFT Writers Lab mentor Gina Prince-Bythewood blazed a trail with her film Love and Basketball. Not only was the film a critical and commercial success, it won the Humanitas Prize and an Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature. Continue reading Trailblazing through the Decades: Gina Prince-Bythewood (2000s)

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Trailblazing through the Decades: Cheryl Dunye (1990s)

Trailblazing through the Decades: Cheryl Dunye (1990s)

Twenty years ago a young artist set out to make a documentary about women like herself: black queer filmmakers. She found nothing but homophobia and omission, and then… inspiration. The resulting film The Watermelon Woman marked Cheryl Dunye’s 1996 debut – a hybrid of autobiography, documentary, and comedy. It defies categorization and was the first feature film directed by an African American lesbian. Continue reading Trailblazing through the Decades: Cheryl Dunye (1990s)

Trailblazing Through the Decades: Jessie Maple (1980s)

Trailblazing Through the Decades: Jessie Maple (1980s)

Jessie Maple is the first black woman to join the union of International Photographers of Motion Picture & Television (IATSE) in New York. Her book, How to Become a Union Camerawoman , is an instructional guide illustrating the obstacles that she endured to get into the union. It details the court case she initiated to fight discrimination after she became a member. Continue reading Trailblazing Through the Decades: Jessie Maple (1980s)

Trailblazing Through the Decades: Ida Lupino (1950s)

Trailblazing Through the Decades: Ida Lupino (1950s)

British-American actress and producer Ida Lupino, got her start directing when the director of the 1949 film Not Wanted suffered a heart attack during pre-production. Lupino stepped in and shot the film guerilla style to keep the movie on budget and on schedule. Budgeted at just over $150,000, the film grossed $1 million, and Lupino’s reputation spread through Hollywood studios even though the original director retained credit. Continue reading Trailblazing Through the Decades: Ida Lupino (1950s)