In a former life, Madame Ava DuVernay helped projects like Spy Kids and Dreamgirls shine as a publicist via her public relations firm The DuVernay Agency before picking up a camera and changing the world forever. Since then, she's gone on to become one of Hollywood's brightest, most in-demand creators thanks to her knack for bold, thoughtful, realistic storytelling and powerful, evocative imagery.
Long before she chronicled Martin Luther King's famous march against untreated melanin envy and institutional hateration in Selma and took on mass incarceration via the Emmy-winning 13th, Ava won hearts and awards with a series of shorts, documentaries, and a pair of features, I Will Follow and Middle of Nowhere. Later, partnering with Oprah's OWN for Queen Sugar, she introduced the world to the Borderlons and has provided a loving, empowering work environment for an impressive roster of veteran and rookie filmmakers alike.
She even harnessed #BlackGirlMagic in an Apple commercial featuring Kerry Washington, Mary J Blige, and Taraji P. Henson and recently helped Jay Z and Bey work through their "Family Feud." These days, her $100 million-dollar epic A Wrinkle In Time is rocking the box office, showing a new generation of fantasy film fans a whole new world of possibilities. As a testament to the power of representation and the power of a strong community, via Array, she's cultivated a collective for distribution, creative, and advocacy resources for filmmakers.
And she's just getting started.
Here are Ava and Oprah discussing their creative partnership on A Wrinkle In Time and the brilliance of her OWN series, Queen Sugar:
Here, she opened up about switching gears and chasing her dreams after achieving success in one field: