Writer-director Cheryl Dunye (The Watermelon Woman) has signed with Echo Lake Management and APA.

“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 began her career with six short films which have been collected on DVD as The Early Works of Cheryl Dunye.  Her feature debut was The Watermelon Woman (1996), a film which explored the history of black women and lesbians in film, and made cinematic history as the first feature-length narrative film written and directed by an out black lesbian about black lesbians.  The Watermelon Woman 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 second feature was the HBO produced television movie Stranger Inside which garnered her an Independent Spirit award nomination for Best Director.  She then went on to direct My Baby’s Daddy in 2004 and The Owls in 2010.  In 2007 she won the inaugural Outfest Fusion Achievement Award, which recognizes an individual who has made a significant contribution to LGBT arts and media visibility for rarely represented communities of color.

In addition to making films, Dunye is an assistant professor of cinema at SF State, and a recent recipient of the prestigious 2016 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship.

Dunye’s latest feature Black Is Blue, based on her award-winning short of the same name, and she is currently a director on Ava DuVernay’s OWN series Queen Sugar.



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The HBR Media Team is a collective group of black women filmmakers, writers, and studio/network executives who are passionate about bringing visibility to women of African descent working in film and television.

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