Dee Rees is a feature film writer and director of Pariah, Bessie and most recently Mudbound. If you haven’t watched Mudbound yet, you should. The film is about two families in the segregated Mississippi Delta just before, during and after World War II. The African-American family are poor sharecroppers and the white family owns their own land, but they’re still struggling. Each family has a member who goes off to fight in the war. The white soldier returns emotionally devastated. The black soldier returns to find that although he helped liberate Europe, back home in Mississippi he has no rights.  It’s kind of depressing, but really beautifully directed. And all the characters are so well played. (She totally should have gotten an Oscar nomination.)

Her first feature, Pariah was semi-autobiographical and first started as a short film while she was studying at NYC.  The feature version premiere at Sundance to critical acclaim. This is only the beginning for Rees and I can’t wait to see what she directs next.