Twenty-four years ago, filmmaker Julie Dash broke through racial and gender boundaries with her Sundance award-winning film (Best Cinematography) Daughters of the Dust, and she became the first African American woman to have a wide theatrical release of her feature film. 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 and protected as national treasures; Dash is the only African American woman with a feature film that has been inducted into the National Film Registry.
Born and raised in NYC, Julie Dash’s paternal family hails from Charleston, SC with ties to the Avery Normal school, and ancestry that goes back to 1816.
In 2017, Julie Dash was the recipient of a New York Film Critics Special Award, and the Robert Smalls Merit and Achievement Award at the Beaufort International Film Festival. She is the Time-Warner Visiting Professor at Howard University, and the Distinguished Professor of Cinema, Television and Emerging Media (CTEMS) at Morehouse College. In 2016 Dash was also a visiting host for the month of December, on Turner Classic Movies. Dash has written and directed for CBS, BET, ENCORE STARZ, SHOWTIME, MTV Movies and HBO, directing, the NAACP Image Award winning, Emmy and DGA nominated, The Rosa Parks Story, Incognito, Funny Valentines, Love Song, and Subway Stories: Tales From the Underground. Her work as a film director includes theme park, Disney’s Imagineering, museum design Brothers of the Borderland for The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center Museum, the Indianapolis Museum of Art and the Philadelphia Museum of African American History. Her work includes music videos, documentary, PSA’s, industrial documentary films, and commercial spots for fortune 500 brands, i.e., Coca Cola and GMC.
In 2015, Dash was a part of the Trailblazing Women franchise on Turner Classic Movies (TCM), and co-hosted one evening with Illeana Douglas.
Dash has a novel published by Dutton books; and The Making of Daughters of The Dust, published by The New Press.
Recent retrospectives of her narrative film work have been held in Beijing and Hong Kong University, China; Charleston, SC, Creteil, France; Taipei, Taiwan; and Philadelphia, PA. Dash also served as chair of the International Jury at the Kerala International Film Festival, India.
Julie Dash is currently in production on a feature length documentary about Vertamae Smart Grosvenor, a world-renowned author, performer, and chef from rural South Carolina who has led a remarkably unique and complex life. The film is based upon Grosvenor’s bestselling work, Vibration Cooking: or the Travel Notes of a Geechee Girl.
Ms. Dash earned her MFA in Film & Television production at UCLA; received her BA in Film Production from CCNY, and she was a Producing and Writing Conservatory Fellow at the American Film Institute’s Center for Advanced Film Studies. When not working on her projects Ms. Dash is a frequent lecturer at many of the leading Universities in the United States.