Dunye, who is currently directing episodes of Ava DuVernay’s Queen Sugar for OWN, emerged as part of the “New Queer Cinema” wave of young filmmakers in the 1990s. Dunye has made over 15 films including Mommy Is Coming, The Owls, My Baby’s Daddy, and HBO’s Stranger Inside, which garnered her an Independent Spirit award nomination for Best Director. Her debut feature film, The Watermelon Woman, which was awarded the Teddy Prize at the Berlinale in 1996, was recently restored by the Outfest UCLA Legacy Project for the films’ 20th anniversary, and has been acquired by The Museum of Modern Art for its permanent collection.
Dunye’s latest feature Black Is Blue, based on her award-winning short of the same name, is being produced and packaged by Marc Smolowitz and his San Francisco-based company.
“Signing female filmmakers has been a priority for Echo Lake Management and Cheryl is a significant addition to our growing roster of very talented filmmakers and writers” said Mike Marcus, head of Echo Lake Management.
Dunye received a 2016 Guggenheim Fellowship and the inaugural Outfest Fusion Achievement Award in 2007, which recognizes an individual who has made a significant contribution to LGBT arts and media visibility for rarely represented communities of color. She is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and a Professor in the Cinema Department at San Francisco State University.