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Two African American Female Directors Book New Films

by Melissa Silverstein
March 28, 2012 10:24 AM
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Before I Fall

I was excited to report that one African American female director got a new gig, but two puts me close to over the moon.

The Hollywood Reporter writes that Gina Price-Bythewood who directed Love and Basketball (which I love) and The Secret Life of Bees is close to signing on to direct Before I Fall which Catherine Hardwicke was previously interested in.  Maria Maggenti wrote the script (which Prince-Bythewood will rewrite) based on the book by Lauren Oliver.  Here's the description:

The story in the book is told through the eyes of a high school senior who experiences slightly altered versions of the hours leading up to her death in a car crash. Over the course of the story, she falls in love, making surprising discoveries about her friends and family as she races to change the outcome. She also connects with a depressed, bullied girl whose life she holds in her hands.

On Beauty

The other news in the piece is that Price-Bythewood is also adapting Wally Lamb's I Know This Much Is True.

Kasi Lemmons, the director of Caveman's Valentine and Talk to Me has signed on to adapt and direct Zadie Smith's On Beauty according to Deadline.  Here's the description:

The book is an academic comedy of manners, focusing on the story of two families with different but increasingly intertwined lives, race and sexual politics.

She is also developing Langston Hughes' Black Nativity at Fox Searchlight.

Kasi Lemmons To Write, Helm ‘On Beauty’ (Deadline)

'Secret Life of Bees' Director Takes on 'Before I Fall' for Fox 2000 (Exclusive) (Hollywood Reporter)

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  • R.W. | March 28, 2012 9:10 PMReply

    As an aspiring director/screenwriter who also happens to be an African-American female, this is so exciting and fantastic to hear. I wish them the best of luck! Btw, Melissa, Kasi Lemmons' film "Eve's Bayou" very underrated.

  • Greg | March 30, 2012 11:47 PM

    Not only is Eve's Bayou underrated (Ebert named it best film of '97, above L.A. Confidential and Good Will Hunting, and deservedly so), her "Caveman's Valentine" is fantastic. Was hoping "Talk to Me," also very good, would be a breakout success for her.

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