Showing posts with label Ava DuVernay. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ava DuVernay. Show all posts

Monday, June 06, 2022


NEW YORK, June 6, 2022 – The International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences announced today that director, writer and producer Ava DuVernay, one of the most important contemporary voices in American film and television, will receive the 2022 International Emmy® Founders Award at the 50th International Emmy® Awards Gala, on Monday, November 21, 2022 in New York City. DuVernay’s mini-series When They See Us, based on the infamous Central Park Five case, portrayed the injustices brought by police treatment of five falsely accused teens to the attention of millions of people around the world.

“Ava DuVernay is a force of nature and this is reflected in the remarkable scope and volume of her work. She makes significant films and television programs, she uses her platform to reshape our industry and continues to lead a career-long effort to bolster women and people of color in entertainment and ensure inclusivity,” said International Academy President & CEO, Bruce L. Paisner. “We look forward to honoring her extraordinary talent and prolific decade of leadership at ARRAY, with our Founders Award.”

“This honor from the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences is unexpected and wildly appreciated,” said DuVernay. “I thank the organization for recognizing my work and salute their efforts to ensure that storytellers of all backgrounds are amplified and celebrated.”

DuVernay is an Academy Award nominee and winner of the Emmy®, BAFTA and Peabody Awards, whose directorial work includes the historical drama Selma, the criminal justice documentary 13th and Disney’s A Wrinkle in Time, which made her the highest grossing Black woman director in American box office history.

DuVernay is currently writing, directing and producing the narrative film adaptation of Isabel Wilkerson’s bestselling nonfiction book Caste: The Origins of Our Discontent for Netflix. Through her ARRAY Filmworks production company, DuVernay is overseeing production on the final season of her critically-acclaimed TV series Queen Sugar (OWN), as well as recent and upcoming television productions including an untitled romantic drama for Starz, Colin in Black and White (Netflix), DMZ (HBO Max), Cherish the Day (OWN), Naomi (The CW), Home Sweet Home (HBO Max) and One Perfect Shot (HBO Max). Her critically-acclaimed series When They See Us (Netflix) received sixteen primetime Emmy® nominations.

Winner of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival’s Best Director Prize for her micro-budget film Middle of Nowhere, DuVernay amplifies the independent work of people of color and women of all kinds through her non-profit narrative change collective ARRAY. ARRAY is the 2021 winner of the Peabody Institutional Award. DuVernay sits on the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, representing the directors branch. She is also a Vice-President of the Directors Guild of America and an advisory board member of the American Film Institute.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Former Prosecutor Sues Ava Duvernay Over We They See Us Portrayal

Linda Fairstein, the former prosecutor who led the case against the five men wrongfully convicted in the Central Park jogger case, has now filed a lawsuit against Netflix over her portrayal in the 2019 limited series “When They See Us.”

In the suit, which also names series creator Ava DuVernay and writer-producer Attica Locke, Fairstein accuses the show of wrongfully portraying her as “a racist, unethical villain who is determined to jail innocent children of color at any cost.”

Fairstein’s lawyer Andrew Miltenberg elaborated in a statement, adding that the limited series “falsely portrays Ms. Fairstein as in charge of the investigation and prosecution of the case against The Five, including the development of the prosecution’s theory of the case. In truth, and as detailed in the lawsuit, Ms. Fairstein was responsible for neither aspect of the case.”

“Ms. Fairstein’s reputation and career – in the law and in literature – have been irreparably damaged by the Defendants’ actions. We believe strongly in the merits of this litigation and intend to pursue the case vigorously,” Miltenberg said.

In their own statement, Netflix slammed the lawsuit as “frivolous” and “without merit.” The streamer pledged to stand by DuVernay and Locke in defending the series.


Sunday, February 23, 2020

'When They See Us' wins 3 NAACP Image Awards

The 51st Annual NAACP Image Awards showed the love to Ava DuVernay's When They See Us by awarding the drama three NAACP Image Awards.

The limited series won the following catergories:

Outstanding Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special.

Outstanding Actor in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special: Jharrel Jerome.

Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special: Niecy Nash.

Via Twitter Ava DuVernay responded to the wins:

Monday, January 13, 2020

When They See Us wins Critics Choice Award for best limited series

Ava DuVernay’s When They See Us won the Best Limited Series category at the 25th annual Critics Choice Awards.

Jharrel Jerome also won a Critics Choice award for his tropy case for his turn as Korey Wise but DuVernay’s speech in which she thanked the association for ‘Finally letting us take the stage’ was one of the nights highlights. Check it out below:

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Queen Sugar renewed for a 5th season

Los Angeles – OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network announced today it has renewed for a fifth season Ava DuVernay’s critically acclaimed drama series “Queen Sugar” to air in 2020. Produced by Warner Horizon Scripted Television, “Queen Sugar” has been lauded for its powerful portrayal of an African-American family in the Deep South and for DuVernay’s initiative since the series’ inception to hire an inclusive crew and all-female directing team, many of whom were first time TV directors. Current season four showrunner Anthony Sparks returns for the fifth season. 
“Every character feels like family. Our own. I am excited to see what Ava has unfolding next for the Bordelons,” said Oprah Winfrey.
“I’m thrilled to further explore the beauty, pain and triumph of this African-American family, with hopes that their story will continue to resonate with audiences who see themselves in the Bordelons,” said DuVernay. “It’s a real honor to create this work with Warner Horizon and OWN as their support is rock-solid and wonderful.”
“Ava’s vision for ‘Queen Sugar’ is one of inspired storytelling, and her execution of that vision has given us a remarkable series that makes us so proud,” said Tina Perry, president, OWN. “Her leadership and creative spirit – including the commitment to exclusively hire female directors and establish an inclusive crew – is unprecedented and evident throughout each episode of this beautiful series. We are grateful to Ava and her entire team of talented writers, producers, cast and crew and look forward to another season.”   
Led by the talented cast of Rutina Wesley, Dawn-Lyen Gardner and Kofi Siriboe, “Queen Sugar’s” storylines have delved into important topics such as police brutality, addiction and recovery, and systemic racism to name a few. The series has been awarded the NAACP Image Award for best drama and for three consecutive years was named Best TV Show Drama by the African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) and nominated as Television Show of the Year by the American Black Film Festival (ABFF). 
“Queen Sugar” is currently Wednesday night’s #1 original series across all of broadcast and cable for African-American women and total viewers. It has averaged a 1.54 rating W25-54 and 1,655,000 total viewers. The series’ W25-54 rating is up +2% over last year and it’s the #6 original scripted series on ad-supported cable (W25-54).
At the outset of production DuVernay established an inclusive initiative to hire an all-female directorial team. Since its debut in September 2016, 35 women have directed episodes of “Queen Sugar,” 32 of whom made their television directorial debut on the series. The inclusive hiring extends in front of and behind the camera, with a dozen female department heads from casting and production design to post-production and music supervision.  
The overwhelming response to the series was also evident each week on social media demonstrating the strong connection viewers have to seeing multi-faceted portrayals of an African-American family on television. On a recent episode where two characters experience separate triggering events with sexual assault and police brutality, OWN and Warner Horizon Scripted Television worked in partnership with DuVernay’s ARRAY Impact to host a live social conversation #QUEENSUGARTALKS, featuring industry leaders such as Common and Iyanla Vanzant who answered questions and provided resources to those who may be personally affected by these issues. 
About Queen Sugar 
From award-winning filmmaker Ava DuVernay (16-time Emmy nominated “When They See Us” and upcoming romance anthology series “Cherish the Day” for OWN), the contemporary drama “Queen Sugar” features the Bordelon family who are fighting to save their family farm to preserve their father’s legacy while navigating their own personal journeys. In season four, Charley (Dawn-Lyen Gardner) has remained in the thick of the trials and tribulations in both her personal and professional life as she continues to battle the Landry family while also trying to ensure Micah’s (Nicholas Ashe) safety and future. Nova (Rutina Wesley) has published her memoir and goes on a book tour around the country sharing family secrets and shaking things up at home. Ralph Angel (Kofi Siriboe) is managing fatherhood and his complicated relationship with ex-girlfriend Darla (Bianca Lawson) after learning he is not the biological father of his son, Blue (Ethan Hutchison), and is encouraged by an old friend to create opportunities for formerly incarcerated men. 
The expansive cast also includes Tina Lifford as the siblings’ free-spirited Aunt Violet who revealed her Lupus diagnosis to her family while opening her own pie shop; Omar J. Dorsey as Violet’s new husband Hollywood Desonier; and Henry G. Sanders as Prosper Denton, a farmer and longtime friend of the late Bordelon family patriarch, Ernest. Walter Perez plays Romero, Charley’s new romantic interest, while recurring guest star Timon Kyle Durrett portrays Charley’s estranged husband and pro basketball player Davis West. Greg Vaughn portrays Calvin, a former cop who reconnects with Nova during her book tour.
“Queen Sugar” is produced for OWN by Array Filmworks and Harpo Films in association with Warner Horizon Scripted Television. The season four executive producers are Ava DuVernay, Oprah Winfrey, Paul Garnes and Anthony Sparks. The series is based on the book by Natalie Baszile.
About OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network
OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network is the first and only network named for, and inspired by, a single iconic leader. Oprah Winfrey's heart and creative instincts inform the brand and the magnetism of the channel. OWN is a leading destination for premium scripted and unscripted programming from today's most innovative storytellers. OWN’s original scripted series include popular dramas “Queen Sugar” and “Greenleaf;” Tyler Perry’s “The Haves and Have Nots” and “If Loving You is Wrong;” the family saga “Ambitions” from box office hit-maker Will Packer and the lyrical drama series “David Makes Man” from Academy Award winner Tarell Alvin McCraney. OWN’s Saturday night unscripted programming lineup includes “Iyanla: Fix My Life,” “Ready to Love,” “Love & Marriage: Huntsville,” “Black Love” and “To Have & To Hold: Charlotte.” OWN connects with its audience wherever they are, inspiring conversation among a global community of like-minded viewers on social media and beyond.  Launched on January 1, 2011, OWN is a joint venture between Harpo, Inc. and Discovery, Inc. The venture also includes the award-winning digital platform Access OWN anytime, anywhere on or across mobile devices and connected TVs. For more information, please visit and

Saturday, March 02, 2019

Ava DuVernay's 'When They See Us' trailer

Based on a true story that gripped the country, When They See Us will chronicle the notorious case of five teenagers of color, labeled the Central Park Five, who were convicted of a rape they did not commit. The four part limited series will focus on the five teenagers from Harlem -- Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana and Korey Wise. Beginning in the spring of 1989, when the teenagers were first questioned about the incident, the series will span 25 years, highlighting their exoneration in 2002 and the settlement reached with the city of New York in 2014.

When They See Us was created by Ava DuVernay, who also co-wrote and directed the four parts. Jeff Skoll and Jonathan King from Participant Media, Oprah Winfrey from Harpo Films, and Jane Rosenthal and Berry Welsh from Tribeca Productions will executive produce the limited series alongside DuVernay through her banner, Forward Movement. In addition to DuVernay, Attica Locke, Robin Swicord, and Michael Starrburry also serve as writers on the limited series.

The series stars Emmy Award® Nominee Michael K. Williams, Academy Award® Nominee Vera Farmiga, Emmy Award® Winner John Leguizamo, Academy Award® Nominee and Emmy Award® Winner Felicity Huffman, Emmy Award® Nominee Niecy Nash, Emmy Award® Winner and two-time Golden Globe Nominee Blair Underwood, Emmy Award® and Grammy Award® Winner and Tony Award® Nominee Christopher Jackson, Joshua Jackson, Omar Dorsey, Adepero Oduye, Famke Janssen, Aurora Perrineau, William Sadler, Jharrel Jerome, Jovan Adepo, Aunjanue Ellis, Kylie Bunbury, Marsha Stephanie Blake, Storm Reid, Chris Chalk, Freddy Miyares, Justin Cunningham, Ethan Herisse, Caleel Harris, Marquis Rodriguez, and Asante Blackk.

Watch the trailer below:

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Ava DuVernay making Prince documentary for Netflix

Ava DuVernay the director of both 13th and Selma is now making a documentary about music legend Prince for Netflix.

“Prince was a genius and a joy and a jolt to the senses,” the Oscar-nominated filmmaker told Deadline tonight of the Purple Rain star who died in April 2016. “He was like no other,” DuVernay added of the Oscar winner and eight-time Grammy recipient. “He shattered every preconceived notion, smashed every boundary, shared everything in his heart through his music. The only way I know how to make this film is with love. And with great care. I’m honored to do so and grateful for the opportunity entrusted to me by the estate.”

As part of the development of the film, the estate has granted the ARRAY founder full access to the vast trove of archives recordings and, perhaps most immediately important to Prince’s global fanbase, the unreleased material by the prolific musician. The early stages of the project already have seen DuVernay, editor Spencer Averick and other members of her core production team visit Prince’s Paisley Park home and studios repeatedly during the past several months.


Saturday, June 23, 2018

Ava DuVernay: First African American woman to direct a $100 million grossing film

Congratulations are in order for Ava DuVernay, the acclaimed film director of films like 'Selma' and '13th'. Her film, A Wrinkle in time has crossed the $100 million dollar mark making her the first African American female director to hit that milestone.

Per The Hollywood Reporter:

Due to Incredibles 2 playing in drive-in theaters, Ava DuVernay's A Wrinkle in Time has jumped the $100 million mark at the domestic box office, a first for a black female director. The two films are playing together at drive-ins, with revenues split between them. A Wrinkle in Time, which is otherwise done with its theatrical run, had earned around $98 million before Incredibles 2 debuted last weekend.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Ava DuVernay's documentary "13th" nominated for an Academy Award

Lost in the hoopla around La La Land's 14 Academy Award nominations and that a record number 6 African American actors received nominations is the news that Director Ava Duvernay's documentary 13th received a nomination in the "Best Documentary" category.

13th, directed by Ava Duvernay explores the history of racial inequality in the United States, focusing on the fact that the nation's prisons are disproportionately filled with African-Americans.

Ava Duvernay released the following statement on the film's nomination:

My thanks to the Academy for amplifying the injustices of mass criminalization and mass incarceration that we chronicle in '13th.' Now more than ever, it is important to educate ourselves, explore our shared history and elevate our awareness about matters of human dignity.

It’s an honor be included in a category with such fine documentarians and to be nominated in a year that truly embraces and celebrates inclusion within our creative community.

13th was directed by Ava DuVernay and produced by DuVernay, Spencer Averick, Howard Barish.

The searing look at mass incarceration in the United States is now airing on Netflix.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

African American Academy Award Nominees

While most of the focus was on La La Lands 14 Academy Awards nominations this was also a great year for African American actors and directors. This a record year that features a record number 6 black actors being nominated. There are the usual nominees like Denzel Washington and Octavia "I'm in every movie coming out for the next two years" Spencer, but there were a few surprises thrown in. Here is a complete list of the African Americans actors and directors nominated for Academy Awards.

Best Picture:


Hidden Figures


Lead Actor:

Denzel Washington, “Fences”

Lead Actress

Ruth Negga, “Loving”

Supporting actor:

Mahershala Ali, “Moonlight”

Supporting actress:

Viola Davis, “Fences”

Naomie Harris, “Moonlight”

Octavia Spencer, “Hidden Figures”

Best Director:

“Moonlight,” Barry Jenkins

Adapted screenplay:

“Fences,” August Wilson

“Hidden Figures,” Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi

“Moonlight,” Barry Jenkins; Story by Tarell Alvin McCraney

Best documentary feature:

“13th,” Ava DuVernay, Spencer Averick and Howard Barish

“I Am Not Your Negro,” Raoul Peck, Remi Grellety and Hebert Peck

Friday, October 21, 2016

Free screening of "13th" in Hillside NJ

On November 4, 2016 there will be a free screening of Ava DuVernay's acclaimed documentary "13th" at Hillside High School, 1085 Liberty Avenue in Hillside NJ. The screening begins at 6:30 PM and will be followed by a panel discussing the film. Admission is free.

This event is sponsored by Supreme Strategies Inc, The First Baptist Church of Hillside, and the Hillside Board of Education. Any inquires can be directed to Anthony Salters at

SYNOPSIS: Filmmaker Ava DuVernay explores the history of racial inequality in the United States, focusing on the fact that the nation's prisons are disproportionately filled with African-Americans.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Could Ava DuVernay direct Marvel's Black Panther movie

A Black Panther movie starring Chadwick Boseman as the titular hero is set for a July 6, 2018 release. Recent rumors according to The Wrap have Marvel looking at Selma director Ava DuVernay to direct the movie.

[SOURCE] Marvel has had discussions with DuVernay about taking the reins of one of its marquee comic book properties and while the studio is considering other directors, there is mutual interest in having her join the MCU.

Insiders told TheWrap that Marvel is intent on hiring an African-American director for “Black Panther” and a female filmmaker for “Captain Marvel.” DuVernay’s hiring would make her Marvel’s first African-American and first female director, which would no doubt double as a public relations boon for the company.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Was Selma's best picture nomination a "make up" call?

Unless you've been asleep for the last 24 plus hours you have heard or read the uproar over the lack of Oscar nominations for Ava DuVernay's movie, Selma. Although the picture was nominated for best picture, it missed out on what many thought would be sure bets for best director (Ava DuVernay) and best actor (David Oyelowo). Now some thinks it's due to racism at worst or the lack of diversity among the Academy Awards voters at best. (I personally think it's because the voters couldn't properly pronounce their names.) Most of the voters are white males over 65, so it goes to figure that the overwhelming majority of those nominated or white and male.

Now I know some are asking, "Well George if that's true how in the hell did Selma get nominated?"

Well I'm glad you asked that. If you have ever watched a basketball game you know there's something known as a "makeup" call. That's when the referees make a bad or questionable call on one team and then make it up to that team by making a bad call the other way. No referee will admit this happens, but we all know that it does. I think that's what happened with Selma getting a best picture nomination.

To be honest I don't even think that Selma was originally among the best picture nominees. I think that after the tallies were done someone looked at them and said, "Hey guys we didn't nominate any black people for sh*t!"

In my mind the conversation, after that was discovered, went something like this:

Old White Guy #1: What's that you say?

Old White Guy #2: We didn't nominate anyone of color.

Old White Guy #3: What about that black director that made that movie about Martin Luther King?

Old white Guy #4: You mean Spike Lee?

Old White Guy #2: Are there any other black directors?

Old White Guy #1: Well just put Spike's name up there.

Old White Guy #3: What about the voters?

Old white Guy #4: Trust me, they won't notice. It's not like they actually read the ballot.

Old White Guy #1: Hey wait a minute we can nominate up to ten movies for best picture, and we only nominated eight!

Old White Guy #2: Great idea, we just need a movie with black people.

Old White Guy #4: Oh, I vote for Ride Along!

Old White Guy #1: Didn't Tyler Perry make a movie this year?

Old White Guy #2: Guys! We can just put the Martin Luther King movie in that spot, and we will have added a tad of diversity. It's not like it will win anyway.

Old White Guy #1: Agreed!

Old White Guy #3: Agreed!

Old White Guy #4: Agreed!

Yup, that what I believe happened. Selma's addition to the Best Picture category was a makeup call. What do you think?

George L. Cook III, Email:

Spike Lee Comments On ‘Selma’ Oscar Snubs

During an interview with Marlow Stern at The Daily Beast film director Spike Lee commented on the Oscar snubs of Selma for best director. Read his colorful comments below:

“Join the club!” Lee chuckled, before getting serious. “But that doesn’t diminish the film. Nobody’s talking about motherfuckin’ Driving Miss Daisy. That film is not being taught in film schools all across the world like Do the Right Thing is. Nobody’s discussing Driving Miss Motherfuckin’ Daisy. So if I saw Ava today I’d say, ‘You know what? Fuck ’em. You made a very good film, so feel good about that and start working on the next one.”

“Anyone who thinks this year was gonna be like last year is retarded,” said Lee. “There were a lot of black folks up there with 12 Years a Slave, Steve [McQueen], Lupita [Nyong’o], Pharrell. It’s in cycles of every 10 years. Once every 10 years or so I get calls from journalists about how people are finally accepting black films. Before last year, it was the year [in 2002] with Halle Berry, Denzel [Washington], and Sidney Poitier. It’s a 10-year cycle. So I don’t start doing backflips when it happens.”

Read the full article here: Spike Lee Blasts ‘Selma’ Oscar Snubs: ‘You Know What? F*ck ’Em’

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Ava DuVernay: First African American Female Director nominated for a Golden Globe Award

Director Ava DuVernay's Selma, a film chronicling Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s historic Alabama march that spurred President Lyndon Johnson to sign the Voting Rights Act of 1965, scored three Golden Globe nominations on Thursday: best picture, best actor (David Oyelowo) and best director. The director nod is history-making: Prior to the nomination, no African-American female director has ever been tapped into the category by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.