In 2012 Ava DuVernay became the first African-American woman to win the coveted Sundance Film Festival Best Director prize for her film Middle of Nowhere. Most recently she directed an episode of the breakout hit show, Scandal, making it the first time a primetime network televison show was directed, executive produced/created and starred a black woman as lead. A graduate of UCLA DuVernay previously worked as a film marketer and publicist for 14 years, forming DVA Media + Marketing where she worked with acclaimed directors such as Steven Spielberg, Clint Eastwood, Michael Mann and Bill Condon.
2013 could be considered a pinnacle year for the powerhouse. Just to highlight a few she recently directed an episode of the hit network television show Scandal potentially making it the first time a black woman directed, produced (Shonda Rhimes) and starred (Kerry Washington) in a major prime time series. She also received an invitation to become a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), both as a writer and a director. She was one of three invitees to receive that honor. She’s already a member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.
Through her independent lablel, AFFRM, DuVernay launched a podcast series dedicated to black filmmakers called ‘The Call-In.’ where she interviewed black filmmakers from across the diaspora in casual, candid conversations focused on film making. Late last month DuVernay and the team at AFFRM hosted a 9 hour Rebel-a-thon on Twitter where filmmakers like Julie Dash, Ryan Coogler, Victoria Mahoney, Justin Simien, Pete Chatmon and many led a discussion on Twitter focused on black film makers. Click the link above to find out more about Ava DuVernay.
She is someone to keep our eyes on as she continues to expand on an already stunning career, next stop Academy Awards. Hear from her in her own words in an interview with Tavis Smiley.
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