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Film and Media Screening Series: ‘Just Another Girl on the IRT,’ with Leslie Harris
February 26 at 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Original, provocative, and female-driven, the feature Just Another Girl on the IRT was a welcome relief from the male dominated urban films of the ’90s. Smart, ambitious, and brash, the lead character, Chantel, is not your typical “good girl” or “bad girl” but a complex character who deals with her ambitions, African-American culture and disappointments with both humor and pathos. With a bold, unforgettable hip-hop soundtrack and a heart-stopping ending, this feature has become an indie cult classic and defined a generation.
Leslie Harris, one of the first African-American women to write, direct and produce a narrative feature film. Just Another Girl on the IRT was released theatrically in the United States and 20 countries worldwide in 1993 after winning the Sundance Film Festival Special Jury Prize. Harris, producer and president of her production company, sold the feature to Miramax. The feature received an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Debut Performance by a lead actress and Harris has received the IFP Gotham Award Open Palm, a National Endowment for the Arts grant, American Film Institute Filmmaker Award, three New York State Council on the Arts grants, a Jerome Foundation grant, and an ABC/DGA Directing Fellowship.
Harris produced and directed the narrative Showtime short film Bessie Coleman’s Dream to Fly, about the first African-American to obtain an international pilot license, two years before Amelia Earhart; the film received a Showtime Award for Excellence. Her short Never Forget, about the historical, social, and political significance of black churches in Brooklyn, was an official selection at the Philadelphia International Film Festival. She has taught at NYU Tisch School of the Arts and lectures at many universities around the world.
Just Another Girl on the IRT recently screened at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Arts, British Film Institute in London and Bristol, UK for its 25th anniversary. Harris’ next feature is a satirical comedy about sex, race, and the media, titled I Love Cinema.
This event is free and open to the public.