Happy Hump Day P.O.U. Family. This week’s open threads have focused on the talents of African-American/Black Female movie directors.
Gina Prince-Bythewood (born Gina Maria Prince on June 10, 1969) is an American film director and writer. Her primary credits as a director include the films Disappearing Acts and Love & Basketball, produced by Spike Lee and starring Omar Epps and Sanaa Lathan, which won her the Independent Spirit Award for Best First Screenplay.
Bythewood attended UCLA’s film school, where she also ran competitive track. At UCLA, she received the Gene Reynolds Scholarship for Directing and the Ray Stark Memorial Scholarship for Outstanding Undergraduates. She graduated in 1991. Along with her friendsMara Brock Akil, Sara Finney Johnson and Felicia Henderson (also a UCLA graduate), she endows The Four Sisters Scholarship.
She directed The Secret Life of Bees which was adapted from the best-selling book by Sue Monk Kidd. It was released by Fox Searchlight in October 2008, and debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival and Urbanworld Film Festival that same year.
Her husband is Reggie Rock Bythewood, also a film director and writer.
Robinson is a lesbian and frequently deals with gay and lesbian topics in her films. Robinson has directed an award winning short film D.E.B.S. (2003) produced by POWER UP and a feature length film D.E.B.S. (2004). In the feature length film, Robinson centers the film around the young lesbian relationship of characters Amy and Lucy. In the undercover spy film, several of the teenage girls depicted are either lesbian or bisexual, and those sexual orientations are central to the film. . Although some feared that producers would pressure Robinson into downplaying the lesbian aspects of the film, Robinson later indicated that she received full support, and that the lesbian relationship between Amy and Lucy remained intact. Robinson said “If anything, we worked together on the script to make the relationship more complex and intimate”.
In 2007, Robinson created the online series Girltrash! which resides on www.ourchart.com, an online offshoot of the television series, The L Word. Robinson has served as a writer and co-executive producer for HBO television series Hung, and as a writer for the series True Blood. In addition to her film and TV work, Robinson also wrote the first four issues of the Web ongoing series at DC Comics. Robinson wrote the screenplay for a musical feature film and prequel to her Girltrash! series, Girltrash: All Night Long directed by Alexandra Kondracke. Robinson was also one of the producers for the film. In March 2012 it was announced that Robinson would write a supernatural teen thriller with Dawn Olmstead (Prison Break) and Marti Noxon (Mad Men) attached as producers.
Robinson’s partner is television writer and director Alexandra “Alex” Martinez Kondracke, the daughter of Morton Kondracke, whom she met while they were both studying at NYU. In 2009, Kondracke gave birth to their first child, Diego. They live in Los Feliz, California.