Ava DuVernay has partnered with Google to establish a grant program that could change the life of a rising filmmaker with big dreams. Deadline reported DuVernay’s company Array teamed up with the tech giant to create a $500,000 grant for a rising creator who comes from a historically underrepresented community. Named The Array + Google Feature Film Grant, the award-winning filmmaker hopes to give someone a jumpstart in their career.
“Having started my filmmaking journey by self-funding projects, this is a full-circle moment,” said DuVernay according to the entertainment news platform.
“I’m pleased to partner with Google and Array’s grant advisory committee to identify an emerging writer/director to bring their vision to the screen. Inclusive storytelling is at the heart of Array’s mission and we’re proud to also provide access to Array Crew in order to further ensure that the set of the grantee’s film reflects the full array of the world around us.”
The recipient of the first grant is tasked with budgeting the funds to create their first feature film. An applicant will be selected by a diverse advisory committee that includes Gabrielle Glore (Festival Director & Head of Programming, Urbanworld), Francis Cullado (Executive Director for Visual Communications Media, Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival), Crystal Echo Hawk (Founder and Executive Director, IllumiNative), María Rauqel Bozzi (Senior Director of Education & International Initiatives at Film Independent), and Smriti Kiran (Artistic Director, Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival), Deadline reported.
“We’re honored to help Array showcase talented creatives from underrepresented communities and to add volume to more diverse voices,” added Elle Roth-Brunet, Google Assistant’s Entertainment Partnerships Lead. “The Array x Google Feature Film Grant is intrinsically aligned with Google Assistant’s commitment to speak with a diverse set of voices, and connect with more people to help in their everyday lives.”
Array, founded by DuVernay in 2011, has “amplified diverse storytellers in the film and television industry,” the company tweeted.
Happy World Diversity Day! For the past 10 years, ARRAY has amplified diverse storytellers in the film and television industry. Join us in celebration as we look back at the 30+ #ARRAYReleasing films and filmmakers we’ve distributed since 2011. pic.twitter.com/tv2mpqAiBN
— ARRAY (@ARRAYNow) May 21, 2021
DuVernay recently received an honorary doctorate degree from Yale University.
“My thanks to the special committee at @Yale for this honor,” she wrote on social media. “My mom is over the moon and has taken to calling me Dr. DuVernay. Hope that wears off. But the joy of your high regard will not. A thrill to share this with the formidable Class of 2021 and my esteemed fellow honorees.”