Remember the 1997 film Eve’s Bayou? That magical film marked the directorial debut of a great young talent in Hollywood by the name of Kasi Lemmons. Since she burst onto the scene, Lemmons has been steadily working but we haven’t heard much about her in the mainstream media so it was great to stumble upon this news from Deadline.com about the talented writer and director:
The Eve’s Bayou director will both adapt and direct the feature film version of Marlene van Niekerk’s Agaat. Kasi Lemmons is scheduled to finish the screenplay by next month, the producers announced today. UK-based Patrick Holzen, Debbie Vandermeulen and Crash producer Mark R. Harris will produce the adaptation of the acclaimed 2010 South African novel. South Africa’s Do Productions will co-produce. Spanning the 1950s to the 1990s, the story is set in Apartheid ruled South Africa where a black maid slowly takes over the running of her adopted white parents/employers farm. Lemmons is who is next set to direct Black Nativity for Fox Searchlight and to adapt Zadie Smith’s novel On Beauty. Lemmons is represented by the Gersh Agency and Wet Dog Entertainment.
The news about the collaboration with Zadie Smith is especially big news. Smith, who is a Black British writer, is a heavyweight in the literary world and many will be waiting to see just how “On Beauty” will be translated to the big screen.
Although it’s been a minute since Lemmons got the attention of Hollywood as a young filmmaker of color, other filmmakers like Ava DuVernay are now the ones commanding the popular attention of the media and forging ahead with the mission to get more diverse stories told in Hollywood.