AFI FEST 2016 presented by Audi has announced its annual Cinema’s Legacy lineup. This section highlights classic movies and, this year, Julie Dash’s classic groundbreaking film, Daughters of the Dust will be screened alongside nine iconic titles from film history. These titles include: Orson Welles’ masterpiece Citizen Kane (1941), along with films featuring the three female film trailblazers adorning this year’s festival key art: Carmen Jones (1954), starring Dorothy Dandridge; The Hitch-Hiker (1953), directed by Ida Lupino; and Piccadilly (1929), starring Anna May Wong.
Daughter’s of the Dust was acquired earlier this year by Cohen Media Group’s Cohen Film Collection (maintains a library of classic films), and the Collection has announced that the film will be re-released in theaters on November 18. This will mark the 25th anniversary of its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival.
Daughters is the first feature directed by an African American woman to receive general theatrical release. Julie Dash is a legendary filmmaker who has paved the way for an entire generation of filmmakers who are pushing forward towards their artistic pursuits. Daughters of the Dust is set at the turn of the 20th century among South Carolina’s Gullah community, descendants of slaves who settled on the coastal islands. Notably featuring heavy use of the Gullah dialect, the unconventional story, narrated by an unborn child, follows the women of an extended family who have long preserved their beliefs, language, and traditions, but face irrevocable changes as they prepare to move to the Industrial north as part of the Great Migration.
In 1999, the 25th Annual Newark Black Film Festival honored Dash and Daughters of the Dust as being one of the most important cinematic achievements in Black Cinema in the 20th century. In December 2004, The Library of Congress placed Daughters of the Dust in the National Film Registry where it joined 400 American films preserved as a National Treasures. Daughters of the Dust went on to greatly influence subsequent black cinema and black culture, and most recently was referenced in Beyonce’s Lemonade special for HBO.
Tickets to Cinema’s Legacy screenings will be available on AFI.com beginning November 1.