“Queen Sugar” Season 4, Once Again Assembles All Female Directing Team

Tchaiko Omawale Photo by Brinson+Banks

 “Queen Sugar,” the critically acclaimed drama series from Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Ava DuVernay (“A Wrinkle in Time,” “13th,” “Selma”), executive producer Oprah Winfrey and Warner Horizon Scripted Television, returns for its fourth season on OWN Wednesday, June 12 (9 p.m. ET/PT).

Continuing a creative initiative established in the show’s first season, series creator/executive producer DuVernay has once again assembled an all-female directing team for the fourth consecutive season. Season 4 directors include Cheryl Dunye, who will also serve as producing director, in addition to Carmen Marrón, Numa Perrier, Heidi Saman, Bola Ogun and Tchaiko Omawale, all of whom will be making their television directorial debut, with additional names to be announced.

The complete third season of “Queen Sugar” is also now available to stream exclusively on Hulu, making it possible for viewers to catch up on all past episodes of the series ahead of the season four premiere.

Additionally, the following casting announcements have been made for season four:  

Kendall Clark (Credit: Nicole Mitchem Photography)

Erica Tazel (“Roots”) portrays Deesha Brown-Sonnier, an attorney and socially conscious neighbor and mother of Joie. Recurring Guest Star

Kendall Clark portrays Joie, a bright and self-confident tomboy, daughter of a single mother who becomes friends with Blue. “Queen Sugar” marks her television debut. Recurring Guest Star

Walter Perez (“The Avengers”) portrays Romero Rodriguez, a rugged, naturally sexy man with gentle manners who begins dating Charley Bordelon after helping her start a dead battery and then runs into her in the hospital where he works as a physician assistant. Upped to Series Regular.

“Queen Sugar” was recently named Television Show of the Year from the African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) for the third consecutive year and was nominated for an NAACP Image Award for Best Drama Series. During its most-recent season, Queen Sugar was the #5 original scripted series on ad-supported cable among W25-54, ranked #1 across all cable on Wednesday nights in the timeslot with W25-54 and ranked among the top five scripted series on all ad-supported cable with African-American W18-34.  

About “Queen Sugar” Season Four Directors: 

·         Cheryl Dunye: Dunye returns to season four of “Queen Sugar” as a producing director having previously directed episodes of the series in season two as a first-time television director. Dunye is considered the most influential African American filmmaker to emerge from New Queer Cinema wave of the mid-1990s. Her groundbreaking first film, “The Watermelon Woman,” won the Teddy Award for Best Feature at Berlinale in 1996. Her 2002 follow-up, HBO’s “Stranger Inside,” was nominated for four Independent Spirit Awards including Best Director. Since 2017, she has directed episodes of “David Makes Man” and “Love Is___” for OWN and Warner Horizon, “Claws” for TNT, “The Chi” for Showtime, “Star” on Fox, and “The Fosters” for Freeform. She is now set to write & direct “The Wonder Of All Things” for Lionsgate.

·         Carmen Marrón: Marron is a self-taught writer, director and producer whose debut feature “Go For It” was bought and distributed by Lionsgate. Her feature film “End Game” was exhibited by AMC and premiered on HBO in 2016, with Indiewire’s Latinobuzz naming Marrón “one of the five Latina Directors at the helm of breaking films.” Marrón is a member of Film Independent and NALIP. “Queen Sugar” will mark Marrón’s television directional debut.

·         Numa Perrier: Perrier is a Haitian filmmaker, visual artist and actress whose first feature film “Jezebel,” which she wrote and directed, recently premiered at SXSW Film Festival. She founded House of Numa, an art house film company, and the entertainment and lifestyle digital platform Black & Sexy TV.  “Queen Sugar” will mark Perrier’s television directional debut.

·         Heidi Saman: Saman’s feature film “Namour” won a Jury Award at the Los Angeles Film Festival in 2016, where it was acquired by ARRAY and is currently streaming on Netflix. Last year, Saman was selected to participate in the International Emerging Film Talent Association (IEFTA) and the Princess Grace Foundation-USA partnership at the Cannes Film Festival, and was previously named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces to Watch. In 2008, Saman’s short film “The Maid” premiered in competition at the Cannes Film Festival. Saman is currently a producer with NPR’s Fresh Air. “Queen Sugar” will mark Saman’s television directional debut.

·         Bola Ogun: Ogun is a first generation Nigerian-American filmmaker, whose short film “Are We Good Parents” was a SXSW Film Festival official selection in 2018 and earned 2nd runner up for Best Narrative Short at Urbanworld. Ogun was selected for the AFI Directing Workshop for Women in 2014, the inaugural class for the Ryan Murphy’s Televisino HALF Mentorship Program, one of five filmmakers for Robert Rodriguez’s docuseries “Rebel Without A Crew” and is currently a participant in WeForShe DirectHer program. Ogun has worked in the production department on numerous big budget feature films and produced music videos for Capital Records and Vanity Fair’s viral video “Ladyboss.” “Queen Sugar” will mark Ogun’s television directional debut.

·         Tchaiko Omawale: Omawale’s feature film “Solace,” which premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival in 2018,  participated in Tribeca All Access in 2016 and was a recipient of the Panavision New Filmmakers Program 2015. Omawale was a 2017 School of Making Thinking Resident fellow where she created the VR film “Shapeshifters.” She currently directs commercials and branded content with Unicorns + Unicorns.  “Queen Sugar” will mark Omawale’stelevision directional debut.

In the series’ fourth season, the contemporary drama returns as the Bordelons find themselves continuing their fight to save their family farm and preserve their father’s legacy as they navigate their own personal journeys. Charley (Dawn-Lyen Gardner) remains in the thick of the trials and tribulations in both her personal and professional life as she continues to battle the Landry family while also trying to ensure Micah’s (Nicholas Ashe) safety and future. Nova (Rutina Wesley) publishes her memoir and while she goes on a book tour around the country sharing her family secrets and shaking things up at home, she unexpectedly encounters significant relationships from her past along the way. Ralph Angel (Kofi Siriboe) is managing fatherhood and his complicated relationship with ex-girlfriend Darla (Bianca Lawson) after learning he is not the biological father of his son, Blue (Ethan Hutchison), and is encouraged by an old friend to create opportunities for formerly incarcerated men. 

The expansive cast also includes Tina Lifford as the siblings’ free-spirited Aunt Violet who revealed her Lupus diagnosis to her family along with plans to open her own pie shop; Omar J. Dorsey as Violet’s new husband Hollywood Desonier; and Henry G. Sanders plays Prosper Denton, a farmer and longtime friend of the late Bordelon family patriarch, Ernest. Additionally, recurring guest star Timon Kyle Durrett portrays Charley’s estranged husband and pro basketball player Davis West. 

“Queen Sugar” is produced for OWN by Forward Movement and Harpo Films in association with Warner Horizon Scripted Television. The executive producers are Ava DuVernay, Oprah Winfrey, Paul Garnes and Anthony Sparks. The series is based on the book by Natalie Baszile. 

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