Justin Simien

Justin Simien

Host of "Don't @ Me," and writer, director, producer of “Dear White People."

Guest

Justin Simien is a writer, director, and producer of both television and film based in Los Angeles, California. In 2014 he wrote and directed his first feature film, the critically acclaimed Indie Dear White People, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. After being called “timely and important” by critics and audiences alike, the project won him the Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Talent and was picked up by Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions. 

After the theatrical release of Dear White People in the Fall of 2014, Simien was awarded Best First Screenplay and nominated for Best First Feature at the Independent Spirit Awards. The film also earned him a nomination for the Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award at that year’s Gotham Awards, along with a nomination for the Audience Award. Actress Tessa Thompson also garnered a Breakthrough Actor win at the Gotham Awards for her leading performance as the fearless and controversial Sam White. Simien was included in Variety’s “10 Directors to Watch” roundup for that year.

Simien adapted Dear White People into a series for streaming giant Netflix, which debut in 2017, with many of the original cast returning to continue the story. The show, which recently debuted its second season, remains at a coveted and rare 100% on Rotten Tomatoes for both the first & second seasons. Simien’s next project will be writing and directing his second feature length film entitled Bad Hair. Paralleling the rise of New Jack Swing in 1989, Bad Hair is a horror satire that follows an ambitious young woman who gets a weave in order to survive the image obsessed world of music television. Her professional success comes at a higher cost than anticipated, however, when she discovers her new hair may have a mind of its own…

Justin Simien on KCRW

This week, we’re taking one last look back at some of our favorite moments of the year that was.

Revisiting some recent favorites

This week, we’re taking one last look back at some of our favorite moments of the year that was.

from The Business

In the season finale of Don’t @ Me, Boots Riley shares his history, muses, and the long road to one of 2018’s finest films, Sorry to Bother You.

Sorry to Bother You

In the season finale of Don’t @ Me, Boots Riley shares his history, muses, and the long road to one of 2018’s finest films, Sorry to Bother You.

from Don't @ Me with Justin Simien

Justin talks about what it’s like to be a filmmaker   outside   of the traditional studio system with producers Alana Mayo from Michael B.

The Unicorns

Justin talks about what it’s like to be a filmmaker outside of the traditional studio system with producers Alana Mayo from Michael B.

from Don't @ Me with Justin Simien

More from KCRW

Kim Masters and Matt Belloni examine the surprising decision made by the New York State Court of Appeals to overturn Harvey Weinstein’s 2020 rape conviction.

from The Business

Lost Notes celebrates the life of Ruth Dolphin, who went from being a terrified widow with four kids to the mother of an LA musical empire.

from Lost Notes

Writer and director Tim Robbins explores comedy, drama, and modern woes in a new stage play, “Topsy Turvy,” from The Actors’ Gang.

from KCRW Features

Lost Notes brings you behind-the-scenes conversations with Nia Andrews and Terrace Martin about the legendary Reggie Andrews.

from Lost Notes

Lost Notes examines the legacy of Reggie Andrews, a world-class musician, producer, and mentor who changed the lives of countless young musicians in South LA.

from Lost Notes

Lost Notes presents a story about Soul Train, the Slauson Shuffle, and what’s lost – and found – when a regional dance suddenly belongs to the world.

from Lost Notes

In “Possible Selves,” Shaun Kadlec captures the inspiring stories of LA foster teens as they navigate their dreams of graduating college.

from KCRW Features

Kim Masters and Matt Belloni break down the biggest stories to come out of the 2024 Upfronts.

from The Business

LA duo Brijean’s lush 'n' dreamy waltz, "Euphoric Avenue," lands at number one and invites us to slow down and savor the sounds.