Black History Month Spotlight: Ava DuVernay


Ava DuVernay is a producer, writer, director and distributor of independent films. She has received numerous awards for her work, including “Best Director” at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, the 2013 John Cassavetes Independent Spirit Award and the Tribeca Film Institute Affinity Award for her debut Middle of Nowhere. In 2008, LA Weekly lauded DuVernay for her groundbreaking hip hop documentary, This is the Life, which also won audience awards in Toronto, Los Angeles and Seattle. In 2010, she wrote, produced and directed her first narrative feature, I Will Follow, which critic Roger Ebert hailed as “one of the best films I’ve seen about the loss of a loved one.”

Directing network documentaries for ESPN, BET and credits in top-rated drama series like Scandal, her catalog continues to reach the upper echelons of must-see productions. She has also directed an abundance of acclaimed fashion and beauty films for Prada and Fashion Fair with “The Door and “Say Yes.”

Before her director stints, DuVernay worked as a film marketer and publicist for 14 years, forming DVA Media + Marketing in 1999.