Nominated for two Academy Awards, four Golden Globes, five Critics Choice awards, eight NAACP Image Awards and five Independent Spirit Awards, Ava DuVernay's most recent film SELMA chronicles the historic 1965 voting rights campaign led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. DuVernay directed the film from her screenplay, with Oprah Winfrey and Brad Pitt's Oscar-winning company Plan B serving as producers.
Her previous narrative feature film, MIDDLE OF NOWHERE, earned DuVernay the 2012 Sundance Film Festival Best Director Award, making her the first African-American to win the prize. She also won the 2013 John Cassavetes Independent Spirit Award and the Tribeca Film Institute 2013 Affinity Award for writing, producing and directing the poignant romantic drama set in the world of the prison industrial complex.
In 2010, she wrote, financed, produced and directed her first narrative feature, I WILL FOLLOW. The family drama was hailed by critic Roger Ebert as "one of the best films I've seen about the loss of a loved one."
DuVernay made her directorial debut with the critically-acclaimed 2008 hip hop documentary, THIS IS THE LIFE. Winner of Audience Awards in Toronto, Los Angeles and Seattle, LA WEEKLY raved, "This is The Life vaults into the upper echelons of must-see hip-hop documentaries."
DuVernay has directed for television with the network documentaries VENUS VS for ESPN and MY MIC SOUNDS NICE for BET, along with JOHN LEGEND INTERLUDES and ESSENCE MUSIC FESTIVAL for TV One. In 2013, she directed an episode of ABC top-rated drama series, SCANDAL, as well as acclaimed fashion and beauty films for Prada and Fashion Fair with THE DOOR and SAY YES respectively.
Prior to her work as a filmmaker, DuVernay worked as a marketer and publicist for more than 14 years, forming DVA Media + Marketing in 1999. Her award-winning firm provided strategy and execution for more than 120 film and television campaigns for acclaimed directors such as Steven Spielberg, Clint Eastwood, Michael Mann and Bill Condon.
A graduate of UCLA, DuVernay is the founder of AFFRM, the African-American Film Festival Releasing Movement. She is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, as well as the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. She is also board member for both Film Independent and the Sundance Institute. DuVernay is based in Los Angeles.
AFFRM | Array Releasing