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Home / Lifestyle / Ava DuVernay trivia: 40 facts about the famous director!

Ava DuVernay trivia: 40 facts about the famous director!

Ava DuVernay is one of most esteemed female directors working today. She has been nominated for many awards over the years!

So let’s dig into some trivia and facts about her!

  1. Her full name is Ava Marie DuVernay
  2. She was born in August 24, 1972
  3. She is an American film director, producer, screenwriter, film marketer, and film distributor
  4. Ava DuVernay won the directing award in the U.S. dramatic competition at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival
  5. For her second feature film Middle of Nowhere
  6. This made her the first black woman to win the award
  7. For her work on Selma (2014), DuVernay was the first black female director to be nominated for a Golden Globe Award
  8. With Selma, she was also the first black female director to have her film nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture
  9. In 2017, she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature for her film 13th (2016)
  10. DuVernay’s 2018 fantasy film A Wrinkle in Time, had a production and marketing budget between $150 million and $250 million
  11. Making her the first black-American woman to direct a live-action film with a budget of that size
  12. That film also made her the first black-American woman to direct a film that earned at least $100 million domestically
  13. Though the movie failed to turn a profit
  14. DuVernay is the creator, director and co-writer of the Netflix drama miniseries When They See Us
  15. The series is based on the 1989 Central Park jogger case
  16. The series premiered on May 31, 2019
  17. And received widespread acclaim upon its release
  18. DuVernay was raised with her four siblings, her mother, Darlene Maye, an educator, and her father, Murray Maye
  19. She grew up in Lynwood, California, which is near Compton
  20. During her summer vacations, she would travel to the childhood home of her father
  21. Which was not far from Selma, Alabama
  22. DuVernay said that these summers influenced the making of Selma
  23. As her father saw the 1965 Selma to Montgomery marches
  24. In 1990, DuVernay graduated from Saint Joseph High School in Lakewood
  25. At the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), she was a double BA major in English literature and African-American studies
  26. In 2010 DuVernay founded African-American Film Festival Releasing Movement (AFFRM)
  27. Her own company to distribute films made by or focusing on black people
  28. DuVernay refers to AFFRM as “not so much a business, but a call to action”
  29. Although she sees building strong business foundations for films is a priority
  30. Ava DuVernay has said that she stresses that the driving force of the organization is activism
  31. In 2015 the company rebranded itself under the name ARRAY
  32. Promising a new focus on women filmmakers as well
  33. DuVernay also owns Forward Movement
  34. A film and television production company
  35. Michael T. Martin says, “DuVernay is among the vanguard of a new generation of black filmmakers who are the busily undeterred catalyst for what may very well be a black film renaissance in the making”
  36. He further speaks of DuVernay’s mission and “call to action” which constitutes a strategy “to further and foster the black cinematic image in an organized and consistent way, and to not have to defer and ask permission to traffic our films: to be self-determining”
  37. The “DuVernay test” is the race equivalent of the Bechdel test (for women in movies)
  38. As suggested by New York Times film critic Manohla Dargis in January 2016
  39. Asking whether “blacks and other minorities have fully realized lives rather than serve as scenery in white stories”
  40. It aims to point out the lack of people of color in Hollywood movies, through a measure of their importance to a particular movie or the lack of a gratuitous link to white actors


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