AASC Julie Dash Event

Panel Discussion with Director Julie Dash

June 16, 2011 An African American Steering Committee Event

On June 16, the DGA’s African American Steering Committee (AASC) presented the panel discussion Julie Dash’s Daughters of the Dust: A 20-year Mark in Cinematic History. The DGA’s Los Angeles boardroom was filled to capacity to hear about the making of the film from Dash and members of her cast and crew. 

Released in 1992, Daughters of the Dust is a look at the unique culture of the Gullah people, descendants of African slaves who live on the islands off the coast of South Carolina and Georgia. That world is seen through the eyes of the Peazant family and their struggles to maintain their traditions and history in the face of a changing world. The film was nominated for the Grand Jury prize at the Sundance Film Festival in 1991, and in 2004 the Library of Congress placed Daughters of the Dust in the National Film Registry, where it joins a select group of American films preserved as National Treasures. 

After being welcomed to the evening by AASC Co-Chair Oz Scott, the audience was treated to screening of clips from Daughters of the Dust edited by AASC Co-Chair Abdul Malik Abbott, who also served as the moderator for the panel discussion that followed.  

The panel featured Dash; actors Adisa Anderson (Eli), Tommy Redmond Hicks (Mr. Snead), and Bahni Turpin, (Iona Pasant); cinematographer and co-producer Arthur Jafa; composer John Barnes; production designer Kerry James Marshall; costume designer Dana Campbell ; and Location Manager Eric Mofford. They entertained the room reliving stories from the set and recalling the struggles to get the film made. Following the conversation, closing remarks were delivered by AASC Co-Chair Bill Duke.

Julie Dash has directed numerous music videos, commercial spots, and films such as Love Song and Funny Valentines. She also became the first African American woman nominated in the Movies for Television category at the 55th Annual DGA Awards for her direction of NAACP Image Award-winning movie for television, The Rosa Parks Story. She has been a member of the DGA since 1996.


photos by Byron Gamarro

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