African American Lesbian Produced Media
24 Hours A Day – Jocelyn Taylor (9 mins, 1993) – Routine activities take on curious sexual overtones.
Agenda for a Landscape – Leah Gilliam (5 mins, 2004) – A new media installation that recreated the widely publicized 1997 NASA Mars Pathfinder mission,drawing inspiration from a specific moment in American history while simultaneously revealing Leah’s own unique interpretation of that
An American Girl Story – Melody 1963: Love Has to Win – Tina Mabry (48 mins, 2016) – Set in Detroit during the Civil Rights Movement, “An American Girl Story – Melody 1963: Love Has to Win” examines the joyful life and troubled times of an irrepressible 10-year-old African-American girl whose vivid imagination and creativity reinforce her optimism.
Among Good Christian People – Jacqueline Woodson and Catherine Saalfield (24 mins, 1990) – An autobiographical documentary about Jacqueline Woodson’s experiences growing up as a black lesbian Jehovah’s Witness.
Apeshit – Leah Gilliam (7 mins, 1999) – Employing footage from an obscure 8mm film trailer for Battle for the Planet of the Apes to highlight the unstable relationship between the real, historical past and the distant, imaginary future.
Atlantic is a Sea of Bones – Reina Gossett (7 mins, 2017) – Atlantic is a Sea of Bones is a short film drawing from the Lucille Clifton poem of the same name thatfollows Egyptt LaBejia, an NYC-based performer through the 80s, 90s, and 2000’s in NYC.
B.D Women – Campbell Ex (20 mins, 1994) – A 1920s love story between a jazz singer and her butch lover is interspersed with documentary interviews with contemporary black lesbians.
Badass Supermama – Etang Inyang (16 mins, 1996) – A playful, yet critical personal exploration of an adolescent fascination with blaxploitation queen Pam Grier. Questions race, gender, and sexuality through the lens of star worshiping.
The Balance – Pamela Jennings (1993) – A HyperCard programmed poem
Be a Diva – Jocelyn Taylor (58 mins, 1990) A call for video activism
BED PARTY: Eden Alexander and Sebastian Keys – Shine Louise Houston (2014) – Camera crews break the forth wall in a rare look into the bedroom of porn couples.
Bessie – Dee Rees (132 mins, 2015) – The story of legendary blues performer Bessie Smith, who rose to fame during the 1920s and ’30s.
A Bird in the Hand – Melanie Nelson and Catherine Saalfield (25 mins, 1992) – A video about lovers trying to escape New York and the reality of their friend Ayo’s abusive relationship.
Black./Womyn.:Conversations with Lesbians of African Descent – Tiona McClodden (97 mins, 2008) – black./womyn.:conversations… is a feature-length documentary focusing on the lives and views of lesbians of African descent from various backgrounds.
black enuf* – Carrie Hawks (23 mins, 2017) – A queer oddball seeks approval from black peers despite a serious lack of hip-hop credentials. Thisshort animated documentary takes you on a quest for belonging.
Black Is Blue – Cheryl Dunye (21 mins, 2014) – A short narrative that tells the story of Black, an African American Transman, who works as a security guard inside an apartment complex in present day Oakland, California.
Black Nations/Queer Nations – Shari Frilot (50 mins, 1995) – An experimental documentary chronicling the March 1995 ground breaking conference on lesbian and gay sexualities in the African Diaspora.
Black Women, Sexual Politics and the Revolution – Cyrille Phipps and Not Channel Zero (30 mins, 1992) – Focuses on sexual equality in the Black community
Blood Poem – Jamika Ajalon (9 mins, 1991)
Bodily Functions – Jocelyn Taylor (20 mins, 1995) – The theoretical Black lesbian body made flesh. Camera functions as voyeur and observer through interviews about sex, self, and shots of a nude woman as she walks through urban streets.
Brother from Another Time – Cheryl Dunye (6 mins, 2014)
Brooklyn’s Bridge to Jordan – Tina Mabry (20 mins, 2005) –
After losing her life partner in a car accident, a woman with a buried secret must not only fight to keep the couples’ estranged teenage son from her partner’s intolerant brother, but rebuild her and the son’s troubled relationship.
Bumming Cigarettes – Tiona McClodden (23 mins, 2012) – Bumming Cigarettes is a short film about a brief and intimate meeting between a young Black lesbian woman who is in the process of taking an HIV test and a middle aged Black Gay HIV Positive man.
…But Then, She’s Betty Carter – Michelle Parkerson (53 mins, 1980) – An unforgettable portrait of legendary vocalist Betty Carter, one of the greatest living exponents of jazz.
Catfishin – Coquie Hughes (2017) – CATFISHIN is a dark comedy about a trans-man who is only interested in dating straight women but runs into issues because he’s not considered a real man due to his genetic “female” body parts.
Champion: Love Hurts – Shine Louise Houston (90 mins, 2009)
Chasing the Moon – Dawn Suggs (4 mins, 1990) – Mediations of a black lesbian grappling with the memory of an attack that makers her wary about being out on the street.
Chikula: Teenage Vampire – Angela Robinson (4 mins, 1994)
Cinematic Jazz of Julie Dash – Yvonne Welbon (26 mins, 1992-3) – An interview with the filmmaker Julie Dash about her film training, vision and struggle to bring Daughters of the Dust to the American movie screen. Includes clips of Illusions and Diary of an African Nun.
Club Q – Aarin Burch (8 mins, 1991)
Colonial Gods – Dee Rees (30 mins, 2009) – A complicated friendship between a Somali man and Nigerian man unfolds against the chaos of gentrification and displacement in a small immigrant community in Cardiff, Wales known as Tiger Bay.
Complicated Flesh – Cheryl Dunye and Kristina Deutsch (14mins, 1993)
The Cookie Project – Stephanie Wynne (60 mins, 2003) – An ex-marine and father of two undergoes a gender reassignment operation to become a transsexual lesbian.
A Cosmic Demonstration of Sexuality – Shari Frilot (15 mins, 1993) – A humorous comparison between female sexuality and cosmic structures.
The Crash Pad – Shine Louise Houston (60 mins, 2006) – In San Francisco, there is an apartment known to only a few. If you have the key, a new world of sexuality is open to you – but there are some rules.
Creation of Destiny – Christina Springer (57 mins, 1993)
Cutting the Edge of a Free Bird – Anne Marie “Jade” Bryan (17 mins, 1993) – A short narrative which tells the story of an African American family’s struggle to decide between a deaf or hearing college for their deaf lesbian
Daughters Of The Concrete – Coquie Hughes (2003)
Did I Just Look At Her? – Coquie Hughes (2004)
D.E.B.S – Angela Robinson (91 mins, 2004) – A love story between one of the heroes and the villain. Their relationship is hindered because they are on opposite sides of the law and the fact that they are both female.
D.E.B.S (Short) – Angela Robinson (11 mins, 2003) – A film that features a lesbian love story between one of the heroes and the villain.
Dreaming Ourselves…Healing Darkness – Cyrille Phipps (30 mins, 1995)
Dreams of Passion – Aarin Burch (5 mins, 1989) – An eloquent piece about intimacy and desire between two African American women.
Eventual Salvation – Dee Rees (2008) – Having barely escaped with her life over a decade ago, my American-born, 80 year old grandmother returns to Monrovia, Liberia to rebuild her home and community after the devastating Liberian civil war.
A Family Tradition – Jacqueline Woodson and Catherine Saalfield (11 mins, 1995)
Father Knows Best – Jocelyn Taylor (20 mins, 1990) – A rare portrait of a Black lesbian speaking with her father about his feelings about her sexual orientation.
Firefly – Dawn Suggs (10 mins, 1996) – A grandmother recognizes her granddaughter’s anguish, and provides her with the key to their family history.
Fly Boy – Shari Frilot (7 mins, 1989)
Frankie & Jocie – Jocelyn Taylor (18 mins, 1994) – An autobiographical examination of her complex relationship with her brother.
Gay Black Female – Stephanie Wynne (30 mins, 1997) – A Gay Black Female searches for love in the personal ads and get more than she bargains for.
Gotta Make This Journey – Michelle Parkerson (58 mins, 1980) – A film about the accapella women’s group Sweet Honey and the Rock.
Greetings From Africa – Cheryl Dunye (10 mins, 1994) – A highly entertaining rumination on lesbian dating-90s style.
Herbie Fully Loaded – Angela Robinson (101 mins, 2005) – Maggie Peyton, the new owner of Herbie, Number 53, the free-wheelin’ Volkswagen bug with a mind of its own, puts the car through its paces on the road to becoming a NASCAR competitor.
Hottentot Venus – Gail Lloyd (7 mins, 1994) – Focuses on Saartjie Baartman who became known as the Hottentot Venus as she was toured though Europe. Examines colonialism and the colonized “found object.”
Human Touch: Power and Pain – Vejan Lee Smith (30 mins, 1993) – Documents how survivors of sexual abuse reaffirm their sexuality and physical selves.
I Hate My Neighbor – Stephanie Wynne (180 mins, 2017) – I Hate My Neighbor. A woman’s barking dog is the catalyst for chaos and the chain of events that follow.
I Never Danced the Way Girls Were Supposed To – Dawn Suggs (7 mins, 1992) – A fun and fresh exploration of the question, “What makes Black lesbians so special?”
I Object – Jocelyn Taylor with House Of Color (5 mins, 1990) – A commentary on the objectification and invisibility of lesbians and gays of color in dominant media.
I Remember Betty – Michelle Parkerson (10 mins, 1987)
If I Was Your Girl – Coquie Hughes (2012) – IF I WAS YOUR GIRL is an intense pressure cooker drama centered on the chaotic affair between two interrelated lesbian couples.
If I Wuz Yo Gyrl: An Experimental Work in Progress – Coquie Hughes (2003) – An intense pressure cooker drama that explores
the roots and results of physical abuse as it relates to two lesbian couples.
If She Only Knew – Stephanie Wynne (30 mins, 1998) – A woman falls in love with the delivery boy and gets the shock of her life.
Ife – H. Len Keller (5 min, 1992) – Chronicles one day in the life of a Black French lesbian.
In My Father’s House – Aishah Shahidah Simmons (10 mins, 1996) The filmmaker and her father remember her coming out process.
In Search Of The Wild Kingdom – Shine Louise Houston (60 mins, 2007) – Documentary filmmaker Georgia Mann explores the streets of San Francisco in search of raw and compelling lesbian sex.
Introduction to Cultural Skit-zo-frenia – Jamika Ajalon (10 mins, 1993) – Explores the raw-edge of being “Black enough” as a lesbian/gay of color.
I’ve Never – Pamela Jennings (6 mins, 1992) – Made in conjunction with Those Fluttering Objects of Desire, a coin operated installation conceived and produced by Shu Lea Cheang. The video deals with touch-bringing someone close while simultaneously pushing them away.
J Janine – Cheryl Dunye (9 mins, 1990) – An autobiographical confession of Dunye’s friendship with Janine, a white upper-middle class girl she met in high school.
KILO: Iba se 99 – Tiona McClodden (10 mins, 2015) – KILO – Iba se 99. takes inspiration from an excerpt of a report produced by the Women’s Bureau division of the United States Department of Labor titled Negro Women War Workers, published in 1945.
Kuchi Costs Money and CoKane Keeps the Cable On – Coquie Hughes (85 mins, 2016) – The tale of two best friend roommates who become “born again” only to have to revisit their “ungodly” past in order to pay for a crack deal gone wrong.
The Lies We Tell But the Secrets We Keep Part 1 – Coquie Hughes (107 mins, 2011)- The lies we tell the secrets we keep.
Like a Prayer – Jocelyn Taylor (28 mins, 1991) – A documentary of the ACT-UP and WHAM demonstration at St. Patrick’s Cathedral on December 10, 1989.
Listen to the Hands of Our People – Anne Marie “Jade” Bryan (57 mins, 1993) – Focuses on the problems and concerns of deaf people living with AIDS.
A Litany for Survival: The Life and Work of Audre Lorde – Michelle Parkerson and Ada Gay Griffin (88 mins, 1994) – An epic portrait of Audre Lorde.
Living With Pride: Ruth Ellis @ 100 – Yvonne Welbon (60 mins, 1999) – Born July 23, 1899, Ruth Ellis is the oldest ‘out’ African American lesbian know. The film offers a rare opportunity to experience 100 years of our history as lived by one inspiring woman.
Looking for LaBelle – Jocelyn Taylor (5 mins, 1991) – A three-way lesbian tryst, dinner and the music of La Belle.
A Luv Tale – Sidra Smith (45 mins, 1998) – A tender love packed, modern love story that proves two lives can change in a camera flash.
Me-Ba…I’m Coming: A Travelogue – Kara Lynch (1997) – A marathon bus ride between dusty Burkina Faso and lush Ghana is recreated by “the mulatress lesbian narrator-white black boy girl,” an American tourist/outsider who recounts cutting her hair…and coming out in Africa.
Memory Tracks – Jamika Ajalon (8 mins, 1996) – Staged on the streets of London in the imagination of a Black lesbian protagonist, the video seeks evidence of a sister spirit from the past.
Missing Relations – Yvonne Welbon (13 mins, 1994) – An experimental dramatic documentary which explores loss and denial in an African American family through the filmmaker’s story of her kidnapped twin sisters, erased from family history for 24 years.
Mississippi Damned – Tina Mabry (120 mins, 2009) – Three poor Black kids in rural Mississippi reap the consequences of their family’s cycle of abuse, addiction, and violence.
Mommy Is Coming – Cheryl Dunye (64 mins, 2012) – A sassy, raunchy, romantic sex comedy set in the edgy underground of Berlin where love and taboo affairs collide
Monique – Yvonne Welbon (3 mins, 1991) – An autobiographical film which uses story-telling and experimental techniques to explore the shadows of a childhood memory of the filmmaker’s first painful encounter with racism.
Mother’s Hand – Vejan Lee Smith (10 mins, 1992) – A provocative experimental video depicting the trauma of emotional, physical and sexual abuse from a young girl’s point of view
Mumia Abu-Jamal: Facing the Death Penalty – Cyrille Phipps with Paper Tiger (3T0V mins, 1995)
Mudbound – Dee Rees (134 mins, 2017) – Two men return home from World War II to work on a farm in rural Mississippi, where they struggle to deal with racism and adjusting to life after war.
My Baby’s Daddy – Cheryl Dunye (86 mins, 2004)- A trio of young men (Griffin, Anderson, and Imperioli) are forced to grow up quick when their
girlfriends all become pregnant around the same time.
My House – Pamela Jennings (1993) – A HyperCard programmed poem.
My Mama Said Yo Mama’s a Dyke – Coquie Hughes (80 mins, 2010) – MY MAMA SAID YO MAMA’S A DYKE is an urban “mockumentary” tale about a group of teens who become fed up with their lesbian moms so they decide to enlist them into this uncanny camp that specializes in “de-lesbianism”.
My Tribe – Jamika Ajalon (1990)
Never Say Never – Stephanie Wynne (10 mins, 1995) – A straight woman swears she could never love another woman but ends up eating her words.
The Nia Project: Images of African American Lesbians – Mary Morten and Natalie Hutchinson (17 mins, 1993) – Documents the lives and concerns of a range of Black lesbian women.
Night Trees – Pamela Jennings (1993) – A HyperCard programmed poem.
Now Pretend – Leah Gilliam (10 mins, 1991) – An experimental investigation of the pitfalls of identity politics and the use of race as an arbitrary
Odds and Ends: A New Age Lesbian Fable – Michelle Parkerson (28 mins, 1993) – In the year 2096 black women warriors wage a vigilant battle against racial and gender annihilation.
Orange Bow – Dee Rees (14 mins, 2005) – Orange Bow chronicles the comically tedious journey of a Brooklyn teen to a neighborhood birthday party.
Our House: Gays and Lesbians in the Hood – Cyrille Phipps with Not Channel Zero (21 mins, 1992) – Focuses on a range of African American gay and lesbian concerns, from outing to homophobia to alienation and discrimination within the black community.
The Owls – Cheryl Dunye (66 mins, 2010) – An independent drama about four women struggling to make sense of their pasts lives one
Pariah (Short) Dee Rees (28 mins, 2007) – A lesbian teenager unsuccessfully juggles multiple identities to avoid rejection from her friends and family.
Pariah – Dee Rees (86 mins, 2011) – A Brooklyn teenager juggles conflicting identities and risks friendship, heartbreak, and family in a desperate search for sexual expression.
Potluck and the Passion – Cheryl Dunye (22 mins, 1992) – An anniversary feast is the backdrop for this innovative focus on contemporary lesbian relationships. Politics and humor are dished up by the hostesses an guests alike in a savory narrative and- documentary gumbo.
Probe – Jocelyn Taylor with House of Color (20 mins, 1992) – A reflection on the identity and culture of lesbians and gays from various ethnic backgrounds.
Put the Needle on the Record – Shine Louise Houston (11 mins, 2014) – Remember that one person from high school… so hot EVERYONE wanted them, but no one dare try? For these four friends that person was Samantha, and as they get high and spin vinyl, one of them claims to remember her just a bit better than the others.
Rashida X – Stephanie Wynne (15 mins, 1997) – Black Lesbian Revolutionary Rashida X, fights for civil rights and ends up in prison. Her spirit helps her survive until she is released.
Remembering Wei Yi-fang, Remembering Myself… – Yvonne Welbon (30 mins, 1995) – An autobiographical experimental documentary about Welbon’s experiences as an African American woman living in Taiwan for six years.
Roots. & Rigor. – Tiona McClodden (37 min, 2013) – “roots.& rigor.” is experimental film portrait broken into 3 chapters FEEDING-DIGESTIONDEFECATION and follows the artist Lorna Williams as she gathers and creates work for her upcoming 2013 solo exhibition APPOSITIONS: STILL / BIRTH / SHIT : LORNA WILLIAMS
Respect is Due – Cyrille Phipps (10 mins, 1991) – Black youth examine the ways women of African descent are frequently portrayed in rap lyrics and music videos.
Sapphire and the Slave Girl – Leah Gilliam (18 mins, 1995) – In its genre-shifting historical schizophrenia, the video investigates racial passing, cross dressing, taboo sexualities and other transgressions of identity and location.
Sacred Lives, Civil Truths – Cyrille Phipps and Catherine
Saalfield – (58 mins)
Seen But Not Heard – Cyrille Phipps (10 mins, 2007) – Exploring the historical antecedents, current trends, and emerging activism concerning HIV/AIDS and women of African decent.
Shades – Jamika Ajalon (13 mins, 1994) – Explores the issues of dark and light skin complexion in the African American community.
She Don’t Fade – Cheryl Dunye (23 mins, 1991)- A lively lesbian love story which integrates the details of video-making into the story itself. Sharp, funny and intelligent.
She Left the Script Behind – Dawn Suggs (7 mins, 1993-4) – A scenario of a modern day plantation moves to city streets as a young Black actress resists the
roles constructed for her.
Shock Treatment – C.A. Griffith (35 mins, 1994)
Sightings – H. Len Keller (14 mins, 1995) – Offers a humorous look at single Black lesbians trying to connect romantically.
Silence…Broken – Aishah Shahidah Simmons (8 mins, 1993) – An experimental short about an African American lesbian’s refusal to be silent about racism, sexism and homophobia.
The Silence that Allows – Pamela Jennings (38 mins, 1990) – A visual poem comprised of journal writings, performance and images dealing with the influence of race and gender over the pursuit of desire.
Sisters In The Life: First Love – Yvonne Welbon (23 mins, 1993) – A thirty-something Black lesbian reflects on falling for her best friend in junior high. Set in the 70s and 90s, this is a delightful tale of love and friendship.
Sisters In Cinema – Yvonne Welbon (57 mins, 2003) – This documentary tells about the struggles that many Black women filmmakers have faced and still face in a predominantly white male dominated industry. Welbon introduces us to Black women directors, producers and filmmakers from past to present.
Sleep Now Variations – Pamela Jennings (5 mins, 1992) – A video poem based on Samuel Barber’s musical adaptation of a poem by James Joyce; text quoted from Jeanette Winterson’s novel, “Sexing the Cherry.”
Snapshot – Shine Louise Houston (67 mins, 2016) – Charlie accidentally snaps a photo of a murder, and becomes his new target.
So I Didn’t Believe Her – C. A Griffith (10 mins, 1995)
Sojourn – Michelle Parkerson (10 mins, 1973)
Solitaire – Pamela Jennings (1994) – A variation on the card game solitaire. The complex narrative of the game develops around three books: Melancholy, Balance and Flight
Spin Cycle – Aarin Burch (5 mins, 1991) – An autobiographical search in which a young African American lesbian filmmaker ruminates about her craft and her relationships.
Strange and Charmed – Shari Frilot (14 mins, 2003) – The love lives of an 8-year-old girl, a 20-something lesbian, and a 40-something accountant are told from the point of view of two subatomic particles (or “Quarks”) called Strange and Charmed.
Still Black: A Portrait of Black Transmen – Kortney Ryan Ziegler (78 mins, 2008)
Storme: The Lady of the Jewel Box – Michelle Parkerson (21 mins, 1987)
Stud Life – Campbell Ex (91 mins, 2012) – JJ is a ‘Stud’ Lesbian. Together with her best friend Seb, a gay pretty boy, they work as wedding photographers. When JJ falls in love with a beautiful diva, JJ and Seb’s friendship is tested. JJ is forced to chose between her hot new lover and her best friend.
Superfreak – Shine Louise Houston (69 mins, 2007) – People at a party, inspired by the sexually compelling ghost of singer Rick James, engage in a number of physical encounters.
Tantalize – StephanieWynne (28 mins, 2001)
Train Station -Ta’Shia Asanti and Stephanie Wynne (18 mins, 1996) – Black Lesbian Love is found in a busy Train Station in the 1950’s. But look out for the ex-lover who is still on the prowl.
Trapped – Stephanie Wynne (2002)
The Taste of Dirt – Yvonne Welbon (12 mins, 2003)
Untitled Black Lesbian Elder Project – Tiona McClodden (90 mins, 2018)
Untitled Portrait – Cheryl Dunye (5 mins, 1993) – Unsentimental musings about Dunye’s brother.
Valencia – Cheryl Dunye (105 mins, 2013) – Valencia is a collaboration between a national community of queer filmmakers to adapt the underground classic memoir into a kaleidoscopic vision of San Francisco’s Mission District in the early 90s during the rise of a punk lesbian diaspora
Vanilla Sex – Cheryl Dunye (5 mins, 1992) – Made in conjunction with Those Fluttering Objects of Desire, a coin operated installation conceived and produced by Shu Lea Cheang. Examines Dunye’s personal relationship to “Vanilla Sex.” Is it who you do, or what you do?
Viva Tabatha – Campbell Ex (27 mins, 1995) – A profile of France’s most successful adult movie star Tabatha Cash.
The Watermelon Woman – Cheryl Dunye (90 mins, 1996) – A breezy, faux-cinema-verite account of a Black lesbian filmmaker researching the life of an obscure actress from the thirties.
What Is A Line – Shari Frilot (10 mins, 1994) – Weaving the narrative of a jilted lover with footage of a train in motion, this video is a darkly comedic study of the physical, psychological and emotional dramas and convolutions jilted lovers go through.