1994 Distinguished Alumnus
DANTE JAMES, '76
Dante James is an award-winning independent filmmaker and an Artist in Residence at Duke University. He is also the owner of DMD Films, LLC, an independent production company based in Durham, North Carolina and dedicated to telling stories of people, places, cultures, and issues that are misrepresented and/or underrepresented by mainstream media.
In 2006, James won a national Emmy for his work as series producer of the critically acclaimed PBS documentary series, "Slavery and the Making of America." He is also the recipient of two Washington, DC regional Emmy awards.
His most recent documentary, Harlem in Montmartre: A Paris Jazz Story, has screened at film festivals worldwide and was awarded best documentary at the 2010 Pan African International Film Festival in Cannes, France. In 2008 he wrote, produced and directed the critically acclaimed dramatic short film, The Doll, based on a short story by Charles W. Chesnutt.
In 2003, for Blackside Films in Boston, Massachusetts, he was executive producer for the PBS series, This Far by Faith. His earlier work at Blackside has been honored with the Dupont Columbia Silver Baton. All told, James has been responsible for over eighteen hours of PBS programming.
Dante James has a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Grand Valley State University and a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies from Duke University. In 2008 he was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters by Grand Valley State University, following his earlier recognition as one of the university’s Distinguished Alumni.
During the summer of 2010 he served as a guest lecturer at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. He plans to return to Cape Town next year to make a film with a black South African resident of the Khayelitshia Township. He is currently developing an independent feature film that will be shot in Michigan in 2011.
Updated April 2011