Ava DuVernay, First Black Woman to Win Best Director at Sundance

We spotted Middle of Nowhere  a few weeks ago and are pleased to hear that director Ava DuVernay is the first Black woman to win Best Director at the Sundance Film Festival. The news came over the weekend when DuVernay beat out Benh Zeitlin’s Beasts Of The Southern Wild, a known favorite that went on to win the Grand Jury Prize. In her acceptance speech, she expressed the importance of “filmmakers of color to see one another’s films and have them seen.”

And see it people will. The drama, which captures, in essence, the strength of a woman dealing with an incarcerated husband while searching for her identity, will be distributed by Participant Media, the same company that distributed The Help. DuVernay also has founded an initiative, AFFRM, that will assist in getting independent Black films seen by a wider audience.

It’s been a pretty powerful year for Black actors, actresses and filmmakers. DuVernay is awarded this major honor on the heels of Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer’s Oscar noms, as well as in the midst of The Help winning Best Ensemble at the Screen Actors Guild Awards. We can only hope that the feats keep coming.