Showing Out: Cheryl Dunye

Black/Queer Cinema: Photography, Film/Video, Talks, Screenings

12.02.2016   - 21.02.2016

In a further exploration of Queer Cinema at SomoS Art House, San Francisco-based film company 13th Gen and SomoS present “Showing Out: Cheryl Dunye,” a lively and loving look back at Berlinale and its influence on Queer Cinema through the works of award winning writer/director Cheryl Dunye.

Cheryl Dunye

Widely regarded as one of the key directors of the ‘New Queer Cinema‘ of the 1990s, Dunye came to prominence in 1996 with “The Watermelon Woman,” a popular Black/Queer feature film that had its world premiere in the Panorama Section of the Berlin International Film Festival. The film won the prestigious Teddy Award that year, and in February 2016, Dunye and her producing team return to Berlinale for the film’s 20th anniversary to premiere a pristine Film to DCP restoration of the film. The restoration is a project of 13th Gen, made possible through the generous support of Outfest UCLA Legacy Project, UCLA Film & Television Archive, TIFF: Toronto International Film Festival, and other partners. This begins a worldwide re-release of the film in 2016.

During the 2016 Berlinale Film Festival, “Showing Out: Cheryl Dunye” will survey the director’s work thus far, by way of:

– An exhibit of photographs taken during the 1996 Berlinale by award winning photographer Mike Light. These photos are a time capsule of Berlin and Berlinale in the 1990s, capturing the world premiere of “The Watermelon Woman” and the Teddy Awards twenty years ago, providing an unique look back on the beginning of Dunye’s career, which has been defined by a long standing connection to Berlin and its highly regarded film festival. Photographer Mike Light will appear in person.

– A special presentation of Dunye’s most recent award winning short film, “Black is Blue” (2014, 16 minutes) — a chilling story about a black trans man in Oakland, California. This is the film’s Berlin premiere, and it is also being expanded into a feature film in 2016.

– A series of gallery events and talks, including presentations of earlier works by Dunye that also screened in Berlinale in 1995, 1996, 2010, and 2012.

Through her combined works, Dunye has crafted a complex and unmatched portrait of Queer Black American life as it has transitioned and evolved into the new millennium. Dunye will be in Berlin for Berlinale and will be in attendance at various SomoS events during the exhibition dates. Dunye will also be a part of the Teddy30 Conference and the 30th Anniversary of the Teddy Awards.

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Recreating History: Applying Postmodernism and Queer Theory to “The Watermelon Woman”
Huffington Post: Queer Black Filmmaker, Discusses “Black Is Blue”
Watermelon Woman FB Page