Kathleen Collins b. March 18, 1942 d. September 18, 1988
Collins was an American filmmaker.
Graduating in 1963 from the Sorbonne with an M.A. in French literature and cinema Collins returned to America and began working as a professor of film history and screenwriting.
Collins wrote extensively during her lifetime including short stories, screenplays, and plays, most of which was unproduced and unpublished while she was alive.
In 1980 she was able to direct her first film, The Cruz Brothers and Mr. Malloy, a short film that was screened at festivals. Bolstered by her success, Collins directed her first feature film, Losing Ground in 1982 for which she is credited as being the second African-American woman to direct a feature length film. The film did not make it outside of the festival circuit and did not receive a theatrical release. It would be her last film.
Collins was diagnosed with breast cancer and succumbed to the disease in 1988 shortly after marrying her second husband, fellow academic Alfred Prettyman. She left a trunk’s worth of written material to her daughter, Nina Collins, the bulk of which was unpublished and unseen.
In 2015 Nina Collins worked with Milestone Films in order to have her mother’s work re-stored and distributed making it publicly available for the first time following a small festival run.
A collection of her short stories titled Whatever Happened to Interracial Love? was published in 2016.