Ava DuVernay is a writer, producer, director and distributor of independent film.
Nominated for the Academy Award and winner of a Peabody Award as well as the BAFTA for Best Documentary, Ava DuVernay's 13th is one of the most critically-acclaimed films of 2016. In 2014, DuVernay directed the historical drama Selma, which garnered four Golden Globe nominations and two Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture. Her current directorial work includes the award-winning dramatic television series Queen Sugar; and the Disney feature film A Wrinkle in Time.
DuVernay previously wrote, produced and directed the dramatic feature, Middle of Nowhere, which earned her the 2012 Sundance Film Festival Best Director Award. In 2010, she wrote, financed, produced and directed her first narrative feature, I Will Follow. The family drama was hailed by critic Roger Ebert as "one of the best films I've seen about the loss of a loved one."
DuVernay made her directorial debut with the critically-acclaimed 2008 hip hop documentary, This is the Life and has directed several network documentaries, including Venus Vs. for ESPN. She has directed significant short form work including August 28: The Day in the Life of A People commissioned by The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture as well as acclaimed fashion and beauty films for Fashion Fair and Prada.
Prior to filmmaking, DuVernay worked as a marketer and publicist for 14 years. Her award-winning firm provided strategy and execution for more than 120 film and television campaigns for acclaimed directors such as Steven Spielberg, Clint Eastwood, Michael Mann and Bill Condon.
In 2017, DuVernay was named one of Fortune Magazine's 50 Greatest World Leaders. A graduate of UCLA, DuVernay is the founder of Array, a grassroots distribution and advocacy collective dedicated to the amplification of films by people of color and women which was named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies.
DuVernay is also the founder of AFFRM, the African-American Film Festival Releasing Movement. She is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, as well as the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. She is also a board member for both Film Independent and the Sundance Institute.
In 2019, fashion label Prada announced DuVernay, alongside activist Theaster Gates, will be co-chair of the Prada Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council.
Also in 2019, DuVernay created, directed and co-wrote the Netflix miniseries, "When They See Us," chronicling the stories of the five falsely accused teenagers in the infamous 1989 Central Park jogger case. The film is critically acclaimed and has shone a light on the human aspects of the case, and experiences of being a person of color in America.
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