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Kasi Lemmons

Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Lemmons started her career at age 19 as a hostage in the telefilm 11th Victim. She went on to do Off-Boradway stage work for the next 10 years in such productions asRomeo and Juliet, Balm in Gilead, and The Avenue U Boys, before returning to the screen. In 1988 she started working in films like Spike Lee's School Daze, Vampire's Kiss and Silence of the Lambs, as well as more telefilm work. She even landed the role of Alex Robbins in the television series Under Cover. Following the advice of her husband, actor Vondie Curtis-Hall, she decided to direct a screenplay she had penned calledEve's Bayou, and went on to achieve this goal with flying colors. Besides being the highest grossing indi film in 1997, it also received the Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature, seven NAACP Image Award nominations, and a special first time director award created just for her by the National Board of Review. She continued to act for the next couple of years in films like Gridlock'd and 'Til There Was You, but focused much of her attention to writing and working with scripts like The Passion, The Impersonator and Privacy. In 2001, she reprised her role as director for the film The Caveman's Valentine, starring Samuel L. Jackson.

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Image by Brian Davis