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The Watermelon Woman 20th Anniversary Restoration Screening with Director Cheryl Dunye in Attendance To Receive Kaleidoscope Trailblazer Award

  • Argenta Community Theater 405 Main Street North Little Rock, AR, 72114 United States (map)

The Watermelon Woman 20th Anniversary Restoration Screening with Director Cheryl Dunye in Attendance To Receive Arkansas Times Kaleidoscope Trailblazer Award

Black is Blue (Short Film) screens before The Watermelon Woman

Black is Blue (short film)
Directed by Cheryl Dunye
Produced by Marc Smolowitz
2014 | USA | 21 mins
Special Narrative Short Film Screening

The Watermelon Woman 20th Anniversary Restoration
Directed by Cheryl Dunye
1997 | USA |  90 mins
Retrospective Narrative
Arkansas Premiere (of Restoration Print)

Click here for more information on the Black is Blue short film.

Guest of Honor

Director Cheryl Dunye, Recipient of the inaugural Kaleidoscope Trailblazer Award

Director Cheryl Dunye is the recipient of the inaugural Kaleidoscope Trailblazer Award

The Kaleidoscope Trailblazer Award is sponsored by the Arkansas Times


Adventures, free-spirited. Both stimulating and funny... a testament to the talent and open-heartedness of Ms. Dunye.
— Stephen Holden, NEW YORK TIMES

WINNER: TEDDY AWARD, Berlin Film Festival; AUDIENCE AWARD, Outfest

Cited as the first film by and about a black lesbian, Cheryl Dunye’s landmark indie celebrates the twentieth anniversary of its release this year.  Ahead of its time in both subject and style, The Watermelon Woman is both faux-documentary and true-life fiction, all drawn from Dunye’s personal experiences exploring both the history of black women in cinema and the always comic gay dating scene.  Two decades later, the film remains as vital as ever, a treasure of the New Queer Cinema of the 90s. ~ Mark Thiedeman


Cheryl Dunye emerged as part of the 1990's "queer new wave" of young film and video makers. Dunye's work is defined by her distinctive narrative voice. Often set within a personal or domestic context, her stories foreground issues of race, sexuality and identity.

Dunye's narratives are peppered with deconstructive elements with characters directly addressing the camera and making ironic references to the production itself. The effect of these devices, and of Dunye's appearance in her films and tapes "as herself," is to blur the distinctions between fiction and "real life."

Dunye has made over 15 films including MOMMY IS COMING, THE OWLS, MY BABY’S DADDY, and HBO’s STRANGER INSIDE which garnered her an Independent Spirit award nomination for best director. Her debut film, THE WATERMELON WOMAN, was awarded the Teddy at the Berlinale in 1996 and was recently restored by Outfest’s UCLA Legacy Project for the films’ 20th anniversary. Dunye has received numerous awards and honors for her work including a 2016 Guggenheim Fellowship. She is also a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. 

Presently Dunye is a Professor in the School of Cinema at San Francisco State University and is at work on her next feature film BLACK IS BLUE. ~

The Watermelon Woman Restoration Funders:

13th Gen
Outfest Legacy Project
UCLA Film and Television Archive
Toronto International Film Festival
First Run Features

Note: the restoration has been acquired by the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. 

Since Berlinale 2016, the film has screened around the world in over 50 festivals. Here's a partial list --

Opening Night, Outfest Fusion
University Screening, Art Institute of Chicago
Q-Fest St. Louis
Multicultural Film Festival, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
San Francisco International Film Festival
Ciclo Rosa - Bogotá LGBT Film Festival
San Francisco Black Film Festival
TIFF Lightbox - An Evening w/Cheryl Dunye, part of Pride Month Film
Festival (per restoration agreement w/TIFF)
Q-Flix Philadelphia
AGLIFF - Austin Gay and Lesbian Film Festival
Oakland Film Week (new festival of Oakland-based films and filmmakers)
Outfest on the Road - Smith College
Flashback Film Festival, presented by Wicked Queer/Boston
MoMA Modern Mondays
Reel Q: Pittsburgh LGBT Film Festival
Queer Porto, Portugal
Hamburg/Hannover Queer Film Festivals
TWIST: Seattle Queer Film Festival
International Porn Film Festival, Berlin
Mostra Internacional de Films de Dones, Barcelona
Fringe! Queer Film & Arts Festival, London
Washington DC Reel Affirmations
Melbourne Queer Film Festival
Glitch Glasgow
Mix Brasil