Kasi Lemmons (Co-Writer/Director) 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. Eve’s Bayoumarked Samuel L. Jackson’s debut as a film producer and helped launch the careers of actresses Megan Good and Jurnee Smollett.
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. She also adapted Langston Hughes’ musical Black Nativity for the big screen in 2013. 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. She has shared her passion for writing and teaching with institutions across the world, including Yale University, MIT, USC, UCLA, Los Angeles Film School and The University Pristina Film School in Kosovo. Lemmons holds an Honorary Degree, Doctor of Letters from Salem State Collage. She has served on the board of Film Independent since 2004.
Along with Academy Award®-nominated composer Terrence Blanchard, Lemmons recently added librettist to her formidable body of work, creating the stage adaptation of Charles Blow’s New York Times bestselling memoir Fire Shut up in My Bones, for the Opera Theater of Saint Louis. She is currently in pre-production for the Madam CJ Walker limited series on Netflix.
Lemmons resides in Harlem with her husband Vondie Curtis-Hall and their children.