Kasi Lemmons


Kasi Lemmons is an award-winning director, writer, actress and professor who has been a staple in Hollywood for nearly three decades. Her acclaimed 1997 feature directorial debut, Eve’s Bayou, was recently inducted into the National Film Registry and is considered among the first to showcase the beauty of African American Southern culture. The film received the Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature, and the National Board of Review bestowed her with a special first-time director award. Her fifth feature film, Harriet, a deeply resonant and powerful drama based on the life of American icon Harriet Tubman, received Academy Award nominations in the categories of Best Actress (Cynthia Erivo) and Best Original Song. As an actress, Lemmons appeared in such notable films as Jonathan Demme’s Silence of the Lambs, John Woo’s Hard Target and Spike Lee’s School Daze.  Lemmons has worked extensively as a mentor and educator, and currently serves as an Arts Professor in the Graduate Film Department at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Lemmons recently added librettist to her formidable body of work with her featured libretto in the operatic adaptation of Charles Blow’s New York Times bestselling memoir Fire Shut Up In My Bones, written by Academy-Award nominated composer Terence Blanchard for the Opera Theater of Saint Louis. Fire Shut Up In My Bones will open The Metropolitan Opera 2021-22 season, making history as the first opera by a Black composer to appear on the Met stage. Lemmons is currently adapting and directing Maaza Mengiste’s novel The Shadow King for the big screen with Atlas Entertainment producing.


Eve's Bayou; The Caveman's Valentine; Talk To Me; Black Nativity; Harriet

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DGA Quarterly
DGA Quarterly Magazine Fall 2019 Conversations Kasi Lemmons and Ed Zwick
Kasi Lemmons & Ed Zwick
Kasi Lemmons and Ed Zwick hold forth on the responsibilities that come with fact-based historical dramas, achieving authenticity and connecting the past with the present.
DGA Quarterly Women's Movement 2014
Female Feature Film Directors
The numbers are appalling. In 2013, only nine percent of DGA features released in theaters were directed by women. To inspire, encourage, and hopefully promote change, we interviewed some of those who succeeded in getting their films made. Here are their stories.
DGA Quarterly Summer 2007 Kasi
Kasi Lemmons
Kasi Lemmons had to use all her cinematic tricks to shoot Talk to Me, a period biopic of a trash-talking, Washington, D.C. deejay.