Ava DuVernay is a world renown filmmaker known for her groundbreaking films ‘Selma’ (2014) and ‘13th’ (2016). Ava’s films and documentaries capture the vibrancy and the hardships of the Black experience in America.
Born on August 24, 1972, in Long Beach, CA to parents Darlene Maye and Murray Maye she grew up in the city of Lynwood, CA. DuVernay graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Los Angeles, where she double-majored in English and African American studies. After UCLA, Ava worked as a publicist eventually starting her very own media agency focusing on lifting up the work of African Americans.
While DuVernay would not create her first short film until the age of 32, she became the first Black woman director to be nominated for a Golden Globe and have a film, Selma, nominated for an Oscar for Best Picture. Ava ensures that her content that both positively and accurately portrays the Black community. Her most recent project, 13th, a film centered around race and the corrupt justice system is indeed powerful. The film dissects the falseness of the 13th amendment of the United States, which states that slavery was outlawed. DuVernay argues that slavery hasn’t been outlawed, but has morphed into mass incarceration of Black folks. An extensive résumé filled with socially conscious, outstanding and informational films separates DuVernay from her peers.
Two of the directors for the show’s 2nd season, Cheryl Dunye and Aurora Guerrero, are award-winning filmmakers and also queer women of color.
Dunye is a black lesbian filmmaker best known for the 1996 film The Watermelon Woman, the first feature film directed by a black lesbian.
Guerrero is a queer Chicana filmmaker whose 2012 feature Mosquita y Mari follows two high school girls who fall in love with one another while navigating life in Latino Los Angeles. Read more (3/20/17 11:30 AM)
It’s Black Women In The Arts Week every week, but I wanted to highlight an incredible artist, leader and friend #AvaDuVernay. If you haven’t watched her documentary @13thfilm, I highly recommend it. @directher, thank you for all that you do! #blackhistorymonth
in true O fashion, this looks like a more intimate conversation about race and social justice. I have no doubt that their dialogue will address the climate of fear and resistance that has a particular resonance in the face of our new administration, making it all the more necessary. This is going to be some serious #blackgirlmagic.
Best Known For: Being the first black woman to win Best Director at Sundance, the first black woman to be nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Director and being the first black woman to direct a movie nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars.