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Dee Rees is an alumna of New York University’s graduate film program and a 2008 Sundance Screenwriting & Directing Lab Fellow. She has written and directed several short films, including Orange Bow (centering on a teenage boy) and Pariah. The latter, completed in 2007, screened at over 40 festivals worldwide (including Sundance) and garnered 25 Best Short awards. Additionally, Pariah was a finalist for the 2009 Sundance/NHK International Award. Ms. Rees was also selected as a 2008 Tribeca Institute/Renew Media Arts Fellow for her work; was chosen as one of Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces of Independent Film” for 2008; and was nominated for a USA Fellowship in 2009. Pariah has now been expanded into Pariah, which world-premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and was honored with the Festival’s [U.S. Dramatic Competition] Excellence in Cinematography Award (Bradford Young).
The Nashville native’s most recent short film, Colonial Gods, aired on the BBC in the fall of 2009. The short chronicles a complicated friendship between a Somali man and a Nigerian man, set against the backdrop of gentrification in the small immigrant community in Cardiff, Wales known as Tiger Bay.
Also prior to making Pariah, Ms. Rees directed a documentary feature, Eventual Salvation. The film, which she also edited, received a 2007 Sundance Documentary Fund Grant and premiered on the Sundance Channel in October 2009. It follows her grandmother’s return to Liberia on to help rebuild a community following the country’s civil war.
She previously worked as a script supervision intern on Spike Lee’s epic documentary When the Levees Broke and feature Inside Man; and earned a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Florida A&M University.