At the Sundance Film Festival on Saturday, iconic filmmaker Julie Dash exclusively told Shadow And Act she will be directing a biopic from Lionsgate on civil rights legend Dr. Angela Davis. Brian Tucker will write the screenplay and Sidra Smith is on board as a producer. No cast has been announced, but filming for the biopic will begin in June, the Atlanta-based director confirmed.
Davis, whose 75th birthday was also Saturday, is involved with the production. The academic and life-long activist may be best known for being a target of then-Governor of California Ronald Reagan for her membership in the Communist Party while teaching at UCLA and being falsely accused of murder in 1970. After going on the run and being placed on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives List, she was arrested and finally acquitted of all charges. Her arrest, trial and acquittal can be seen in director Shola Lynch’s documentary Free Angela Davis and All Political Prisoners. Dr. Davis continues her political activism around the world.
Dash, who directed the classic Black film Daughters of the Dust (now available to stream on Netflix), became the first Black woman to direct a feature-length film with general theatrical release in 1991.
We’ll update this story as more details of the biopic are released.