the watermelon woman

90 minutes, 16mm b/w, color, sound, 1996.Produced by Barry Swimar (Paris is Burning) and Alexandra Juhasz, Dunye’s debut feature follows Cheryl, played by herself, as she struggles to make a video-documentary about a beautiful 1930’s film actress popularly know as “the Watermelon Woman.” The film features many notables from the lesbian and gay community including: Guin Turner (Go Fish), Sarah Schulman, Camille Paglia and highlights the photography of Zoe Leonard. The film is distributed in the U.S. by First Run Features.



Guinevere Turner – Diana
Valarie Walker – Tamara
Lisa Marie Bronson – Fae Richards/The Watermelon Woman
Camille Paglia – Herself
Brian Freeman – Lee
Irene Dunye – Mrs. Dunye
Toshi Reagon
Sarah Schulman – Volunteer at Center for Lesbian Information
Cheryl Clarke – Shirley
Cheryl Dunye – Cheryl


Cheryl Dunye – Director, Screenwriter
Alexandra Juhasz – Producer
Barry Swimar – Producer
Michelle Crenshaw – Cinematographer, Camera Operator
Bill Coleman – Songwriter, Musical Direction/Supervision
Paul Shapiro – Composer (Music Score)
Annie Taylor – Editor, Co-Executive Producer
Robert Holzman – Production Designer
Burke Moody – Co-producer, Co-Executive Producer, Production Supervisor
Joy Malinowski – Associate Producer
Cate Wilson – Executive Producer
Michael Light – Executive Producer
Lily Marnell – Set Decorator, Video Playback
Stacey Byers – Set Decorator
Zoe Bissell – Set Decorator, Properties
Jack Mehlbaum – Sound/Sound Designer, Sound Recordist
Renae Dinerman – First Assistant Director
John Gorbec – Consultant/advisor
Gail Lloyd – Casting
Keylan Bradley – Casting
Rob Sayers – Sound Mixer
Sharon Levin Cohen – Casting
Sharon Stein – Production Manager
Tom Jucarone – Sound Mixer
Amy Steiner – Still Photographer
Ana Maria Sanchez – Assistant Location Manager
Andrew Conner – Gaffer
Anna Chin – Assistant Makeup
Barbara Kigozi – Still Photographer
Christopher Leo Daniels – Grip
Claudine Beonit – Grip
Dane Smith – Additional Cinematography
Dave Fortino – Key Grip
Dave Ralney – Boom Operator
Dean Curtis – Boom Operator
Duana Butler – Production Coordinator
Elena Bouvier – Still Photographer
Elenie Mansalis – Second Assistant Director
Erica Freudenstein – Still Photographer
Gail Lloyd – Boom Operator
Jay C. Stuart, Jr. – Best Boy Electric
Jeff Kahn – Best Boy Grip
Jen Schoenewald – Electrician
Jimmy Ford – Associate Editor, Sound Editor
JoAnn Celameco – Costume/Wardrobe
Julia Zay – Properties
K. Brent Hill – Extra Casting
Kathy Robertson – Key Make-up
Kevin Boyle – First Assistant Camera
Kevin Buckley – Assistant Makeup
Luciana Moreira – Costume/Wardrobe
Magall Taylor – Sound Editor
Michael La Corta – Second Second Assistant Director
Missy Moyer – Location Manager
Petra Janopaul – Production Coordinator
Rick Mitchell – Swing Gang
Rose Factor – Properties
Sam McLean – Still Photographer
Sarah Vogt – Costumes Assistant
Sharon Potts – Set Dresser
Shu Hung – Production Coordinator
Solomon Wise – Costume/Wardrobe
Sonya Kilmuk – Script Supervisor
Ted Shields – Second Assistant Director
Tim Dowas – Location Manager
Valerie Casey – Still Photographer
Zoe Leonard – Still Photographer



1996: Teddy Award: Berlin International Film Festival

Audience Award: Creteil International Festival of Women’s Cinema
Audience Award: Torino International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival
Audience Award: Los Angeles OUTFEST
Completion Grant: Frameline

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