Women to Know: Ava DuVernay | Film

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By Claire

It’s time to talk about one of the biggest trailblazing female directors of today: Ava DuVernay. 

In 2012, DuVernay was the first African-American woman to win Best Director at Sundance Film Festival for her film Middle of Nowhere. In 2015, she was one of the only female directors nominated for an Academy Award, for the civil rights film Selma, which was nominated for Best Picture.

In addition to her directing, DuVernay uses her prominence, and filmmaking, as a way to promote stories and people of colour.  

Earlier this year, DuVernay announced ARRAY, an organisation dedicated to the distribution and aid of independent films by people of colour, and women. Born out of the African-American Film Festival Releasing Movement (AFFRM), which released two films a year, ARRAY now expands to an added focus to women, and distributing more films on the art house festival circuits and streaming platforms.  

Along with ARRAY, DuVernay continues to spearhead inclusive stories with Queen Sugar, an upcoming television series produced by DuVernay and the one and only Oprah Winfrey for Oprah’s OWN Network. The series is an adaption for the book of the same name by Natalie Baszile, and tells the story of two sisters who have moved back to Louisiana to claim their inheritance of their recently deceased father, a large sugarcane farm. She is the writer, producer and director of the series, and she vows every epsiode will be directed by a woman. You can view the trailer for Queen Sugar below.

Another trailblazing project is the recent announcement that Ava DuVernay will be directing Disney’s upcoming film A Wrinkle in Time, making her the first woman of colour to be directing a $100 million film.

Here at Cause a Cine, we like to promote intersectionality, which is why I love Ava DuVernay so much. What she is doing for people of colour, women of colour, and women in general, is beyond compare. Her vision and drive bring to the forefront talented women and people of colour into the industry and every project she works on. What we must never lose sight of is, as hard as it is for women in the film/entertainment industry, it is even harder for women of colour. 

Ava DuVernay continues to close this gap and focus on inclusion, and I am so excited to follow her journey.

Cause a Cine do not own any pictures or videos used in this post.

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