Shadow And Act has exclusively learned that Cree Summer will appear on Queen Sugar season 4. She will play Octavia Laurent, a professor and fiery past love of Nova Bordelon (Rutina Wesley, True Blood) who surprises Nova while in Atlanta during her cross-country book tour. Hamilton alum Bryan Terrell Clark will also play Darla’s (Bianca Lawson) new love interest. In addition, Lacey Duke, Pratibha Parmar, Deborah Kampmeier, C. Fitz and Stacey Muhammad have joined the all-star team of female directors for this season, bringing the total number of women directors that have helmed an episode of the show to 32. For the fourth straight season, series creator Ava DuVernay has set another all-female directing team, which also includes Cheryl Dunye (also producing director) along with Carmen Marron, Numa Perrier, Heidi Saman, Bola Ogun and Tchaiko Omawale. The official description for season 4: In the series' fourth season, the contemporary drama returns as the Bordelons find themselves continuing their fight to save their family farm and preserve their father's legacy as they navigate their own personal journeys. Charley (Dawn-Lyen Gardner) remains in the thick of the trials and tribulations in both her personal and professional life as she continues to battle the Landry family while also trying to ensure Micah's (Nicholas Ashe) safety and future. Nova (Rutina Wesley) publishes her memoir and while she goes on a book tour around the country sharing her family secrets and shaking things up at home, she unexpectedly encounters significant relationships from her past along the way. Ralph Angel (Kofi Siriboe) is managing fatherhood and his complicated relationship with ex-girlfriend Darla (Bianca Lawson) after learning he is not the biological father of his son, Blue (Ethan Hutchison), and is encouraged by an old friend to create opportunities for formerly incarcerated men. Learn more about the new directors added for season 4 below:
- Lacey Duke is an award-winning director known primarily as a music video director providing defining visuals for Janelle Monáe, SZA, Summer Walker, Bryson Tiller and H.E.R to name a few, the latter received a 2019 NAACP award nomination for Best Music Video. Duke is also the recipient of the 2019 Prism Prize for Special Achievement for her contribution to music video art. She has also worked alongside notoriously global brands CoverGirl, Pantene, Samsung’s Emmy campaign starring Issa Rae and the AICP nominated Netflix campaign for Strong Black Lead featuring Ava DuVernay, Lena Waithe and Spike Lee. Duke is born and raised in Toronto, Canada. Queen Sugar marks Duke’s television directorial debut.
- Pratibha Parmar, born in Kenya and of Indian descent, is an award-winning filmmaker and artist whose credits include the definitive feature biography, Alice Walker: Beauty In Truth, which tells the life story of the American literary icon. Her ground-breaking body of work spans fiction, documentary and video art. Recognized as a pioneer of South Asian world cinema, Nina’s Heavenly Delights, her debut feature was a pioneering South Asian LGBTQ romantic comedy set in Scotland. Parmar was awarded The Visionary Award for her body of work from the One in Ten Film Festival, is a winner of the Frameline Film Festival Lifetime Achievement Award and was nominated for a GLAAD Global Voice Advocate Award. She is currently a Professor in the Film Program at California College of the Arts, San Francisco. Queen Sugar marks Parmar’s U.S. television directorial debut.
- Deborah Kampmeier is an award-winning filmmaker, having written, directed, produced and edited multiple short and feature films. Her first feature Virgin, starring Elisabeth Moss and Robin Wright was nominated for two 2004 Independent Spirit Awards, including Best Actress for Elisabeth Moss and the John Cassavetes Award. Her second feature, Hounddog, starring Dakota Fanning and Robin Wright was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival. Deborah’s third feature, SPLit, won Best of Show at the 2016 Female Eye Film Festival and was nominated for the Independent Vision Best Film at the 2016 Sarasota Film Festival. Deborah is in post-production on her fourth feature Tape, starring Isabelle Fuhrman. And she is prepping her next feature Dirt Rhapsody, which will begin production in fall 2019. Queen Sugar marks Kampmeier’s television directorial debut.
- C. Fitz is an accomplished film and television director, producer and writer, as well as a marketing professional. As a filmmaker, TV showrunner and film director, she has won multiple awards for her scripted and unscripted work, as well as developed TV series’ (Bravo’s Queer Eye for The Straight Guy, ABC Family’s Knock First). In her digital work, she has produced award-winning social media branding content winning four Webby Awards for creative digital campaigns. Recently Fitz directed, produced and co-wrote her second feature documentary, Jewel’s Catch One, distributed by Ava DuVernay’s company ARRAY. Currently, she is working as a director and developing scripted series and documentary films. Queen Sugar marks Fitz’s scripted television directorial debut.
- Stacey Muhammad was one of thirteen directors chosen by the Directors Guild of America and the Association of Independent Commercial Producers for the inaugural Commercial Director’s Diversity Program. Her digital series For Colored Boys, Redemption, was named one of the top digital series by IndieWire, and as a writer, director and producer, she continues to receive rave reviews for her cinematic approach and distinctive style to storytelling and for creating emotionally charged character-driven stories. Stacey’s recent work includes serving as director and co-executive producer on multiple docu-series projects including From The Bottom Up, directing the Being Mary Jane: After Shows and directing the award-winning short film, The Creed starring Yolonda Ross (The Chi). Stacey is currently in development with her first feature film titled, The Return. A New Orleans native, she is also in production on her latest feature documentary project titled Second Line. Queen Sugar marks Fitz’s scripted television directorial debut.