The 7th Annual Queen’s World Film Festival will return to the Museum of the Moving Image from March 14-19. Pioneer filmmaker, Julie Dash will receive the 2017 Spirit of the Queens Award during the festival, and her 1991 classic, Daughters of the Dust, will be screened at the museum on Wednesday, March 15, followed by a Q&A with Dash. In addition to Daughters, Dash’s 1982 short, Illusions, will also be screened at the festival.
Dash is a Long Island City native, and a legendary filmmaker who has paved the way for an entire generation of filmmakers who are pushing forward towards their artistic pursuits. Reportedly made for only $800,000, 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.
Daughters was the first American film by an African American woman to receive general theatrical release and was named to the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress in 2004.
Director of the Queens World Film Festival, Kartha Cato, had glowing reviews for Dash, noting, “Her work is stunning, so it’s our honor to be screening her.” She went on to highly-laud her effective use of images, saying, “She knows how to tell a story visually. That’s what a good filmmaker should do. I don’t want somebody telling me the story, I want somebody showing me the story.”
Dash truly paved the way for the inclusion of Black female filmmakers, so the honor is much-deserved! The Queens World Film Festival will screen 137 films in the Museum of the Moving Image and other venues in the Queens area.