Actress / Writer / Director
Kasi Lemmons is an actress, writer and director who has appeared in such films as Jonathan Demme’s Silence of the Lambs, John Woo's Hard Target, Rusty Cundieff's Fear of a Black Hat, and Spike Lee’s School Daze. Lemmons’ first feature as a writer-director, Eve's Bayou, became the highest grossing independent film of 1997, receiving the Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature and seven NAACP Image Award nominations, including Best Picture. In addition, Lemmons received a special first time director award from the National Board of Review and the Director's Achievement Award at the 9th Annual Nortel Palm Springs Film Festival.
Lemmons’ sophomore feature, The Caveman's Valentine, opened the 2002 Sundance Film Festival, while her third film, Talk to Me, earned the 2008 NAACP Image Award for outstanding directing. Lemmons’ most recent feature, Black Nativity, an adaptation of the Langston Hughes’ musical, was released nationwide on Thanksgiving 2013.
Lemmons has also worked extensively as a mentor and educator, serving as a Film Independent board member for the past 15 years while regularly contributing to its Filmmaker Labs as a speaker and moderator. Guest teaching credits include Yale University, MIT, UCLA, USC, Los Angeles Film School and The University of Pristina Film School in Kosovo. In addition to attending New York University School of the Arts, UCLA and The New School of Social Research Film Program, Lemmons was awarded an Honorary Degree, Doctor of Humane Letters, from Salem State College in 1998.
She is an Associate Arts Professor in the Graduate Film Department at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts and is currently developing projects for HBO, ABC, and the Opera Theater of Saint Louis.