ava-duvernay

Ava DuVernay b. August 24, 1972

DuVernay is an American filmmaker and distributor. 

She graduated from UCLA with a double major in English literature and Africa-American studies. After graduation DuVernay began to work as a publicist for movies, eventually creating her own successful publicity firm. From 1999 to 2011 she is credited as doing publicity work on nearly 100 films and TV shows. While doing the work DuVernay developed a desire to become a filmmaker in her own right.  

In 2006 she directed her first short film Saturday Night Life. She followed this up with several short documentaries. In 2010 she made her feature film debut with the film I Will Follow which she entirely self-funded using $50,000 of her own money. Unable to find a distributor willing to release the film theatrically she created the African-American Film Festival Releasing Movement (AFFRM) and distributed the film herself.

By 2012 DuVernay made her second film Middle of Nowhere. With the film DuVernay achieved a long-standing goal to have her work shown at the Sundance Film Festival. Not only was it screened in the U.S. dramatic competition category but DuVernay also won the Best Director award making her the first African-American woman to win that category. 

Despite the festival success of Middle of Nowhere no distributors were willing to give the movie a theatrical release. DuVernay again released her film via AFFRM. She was offered work directing TV and commercials, but no movie offers came her way. In 2013 however David Oyelowo, who had starred in Middle of Nowhere, was attached to the movie Selma which had recently lost director Lee Daniels who wanted more money to make the film. Oyelowo asked the producers to consider hiring DuVernay which they did as she was willing to make the film for a budget of $20 million, re-write the script with no credit and the limitation that none of Martin Luther King jr’s speeches could actually be used. 

Selma was DuVernay’s first film with a studio distributor, an awards campaign, and a wide release. She became the first black woman nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Director and the first black woman to direct a Best Picture nominee at the Oscars. 

In 2015 DuVernay, who had kept AFFRM open and continued to give theatrical distribution to small films directed and or/starring African-Americans, partnered with Netflix and re-branded her company as ARRAY revealing that the scope of the distribution company would now also include a mandate to focus on films directed by women. 

The following year DuVernay partnered with Oprah’s company OWN to create the miniseries Queen Sugar for which she hired a directorial crew made up entirely of women. She also announced that she had secretly been filming a documentary called The 13th, which would debut at the 2016 New York Film Festival making her the first person to have a documentary open the festival and the first black woman to open the festival. 

She is currently working on an adaptation of the book A Wrinkle in Time for Disney, a film with a budget of over $100 million making her only the fifth woman and first black woman to direct a live-action movie with a budget that large. 

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CELEBRITY BIRTHDAYS - AUGUST 24

Alex O’Loughlin - 1976 * Ava DuVernay - 1972 * Beth Riesgraf - 1978 * Carmine Gioninazzo - 1973 * Chad Michael Murray - 1981 * Dave Chappelle - 1973 * Griffin Guck - 2000 * Marlee Matlin - 1965 * Rupert Grint - 1988 * Steve Guttenberg - 1958

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Celebrities stop by the ESSENCE photo booth in the New Orleans Convention Center during Fourth of July weekend 2015: Yara Shahidi and mother Keri Shahidi, Jurnee Smollett-Bell and Josiah Bell, Meagan Good and DeVon Franklin, Lianne La Havas, Gabourey Sidibe and Jussie Smollett, Goapele, Ava DuVernay, and Justine Skye

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Ava DuVernay creates #CelebrateStarWarsVII hashtag, silences racist trolls

In response to the racist fuckery that is the #boycottStarWarsVII hashtag, director and activist Ava DuVernay created the hashtag #CelebrateStarWars as a way for fans to celebrate and share their excitement for the upcoming film.

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8th Annual ESSENCE Black Women In Hollywood Luncheon

vanityfair.com
Marvel Officially Hires Ava DuVernay to Direct Black Panther Movie
Why this is great news for Marvel in more ways than one.

Marvel made good on one of the most exciting rumors surrounding their upcoming Phase Three slate. Ava DuVernay of Selma fame will direct Chadwick Boseman in Black Panther, Marvel’s first minority-led superhero movie.

The DuVernay choice is great news for the future of the Marvel franchise not only because of the more diverse perspective she can bring to the table (she’d be the first non-white, non-male director to see a Marvel film to its completion), but also because in hiring someone with such strong vision, Marvel can combat accusations that its lucrative franchise is a creatively stifling place for directors. In the past, Marvel has employed a wide-range of creative directorial talents from Kenneth Branagh and Shane Black toJon Favreau and Joss Whedon. But it’s only been a year since Edgar Wright left the studio’s Ant-Man, a project he had been developing for the better part of a decade, over creative differences and just a few months since Whedon sounded off with remarkable candor about the “really unpleasant” storytelling battles he lost in making Avengers: Age of Ultron.

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Ava DuVernay Barbie doll 

Director of the Academy Award Best Picture nominee, SELMA, and founder of African-American Film Festival Releasing Movement, which provides opportunities and resources to underrepresented filmmakers.

Order here

Admin notes: The doll sold out in just a few hours. Adding to wish list just in case they re-stock.


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Lupita Nyong’o in Talks to Star in Sci-Fi Thriller, with Ava DuVernay looking to Direct.

I’m crying inside.
  
We just started the 2nd week of Black History Month, and Black women have been slaying us left and right, popping out of the woodwork with their natural born slayage and hard work, giving us reasons to remind ourselves how dope we are.

I can’t.

Father God, please make this Black Girl Magic collaboration happen. PLEASE. For all that is right in the world, PLEASE.