Ava DuVernay

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PrintAva DuVernay and AFFRM

icon-jorgensen-lectureJorgensen Guest Filmmaker Lecture Series

Ava DuVernay

  1. Friday, September 20, 2013 3:00 p.m.
Image of filmmaker Ava DuVernay - photo source AFFRM

A Call to Action - Ava DuVernay and AFFRM

Ava DuVernay is a writer, producer, director and distributor of independent film.


Winner of the Best Director Award at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, DuVernay was honored with the 2013 John Cassavetes Spirit Award and the Tribeca Film Institute’s Affinity Award for her second feature film Middle of Nowhere.

She 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, the film debuted on Showtime in April 2009. LA WEEKLY raved, "This is the Life vaults into the upper echelons of must-see hip-hop documentaries."

In 2010, she wrote, produced and directed her first narrative feature, I Will Follow, starring Salli Richardson-Whitfield. Released theatrically in 2011, 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 has directed and produced network music documentaries including Venus Vs for ESPN, My Mic Sounds Nice for BET, along with Essence Music Festival and Faith Through The Storm for TV One.

In 2013, she directed branded films for Prada and Fashion Fair with The Door and Say Yes respectively.

Previously, DuVernay worked as a film marketer and publicist for 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.


Thank You
The series is sponsored by the Black Film Center/Archive, Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies, Department of American Studies, Department of Communication and Culture, Film and Media Studies program, IU Cinema and Indiana University Women’s Philanthropy Council. Special thanks to Brian Graney.