The Kennedy Center

Ava DuVernay


Nominated for the Academy Award, winner of four EMMYs and winner of the Peabody and BAFTA for Best Documentary, Ava DuVernay's most recent feature 13TH was one of the most critically-acclaimed films of 2016. In 2014, DuVernay directed the historical drama SELMA, which garnered four Golden Globe nominations and two Academy Award nominations including Best Picture. Her current directorial work includes the acclaimed series QUEEN SUGAR and the upcoming Disney feature film, A WRINKLE IN TIME.

DuVernay previously wrote, produced and directed the dramatic feature, MIDDLE OF NOWHERE, which earned her the 2012 Sundance Film Festival Best Director Award. 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 and has directed several network documentaries, including VENUS VS for ESPN. She has directed significant short form work including AUGUST 28: A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A PEOPLE commissioned by The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture as well as acclaimed fashion and beauty films for Prada and Apple.

Prior to filmmaking, DuVernay worked as a marketer and publicist for 14 years. 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.

?In 2017, DuVernay was named one of Fortune Magazine's 50 Greatest World Leaders.? A graduate of UCLA, DuVernay is the founder of ARRAY, a grassroots distribution and advocacy collective dedicated to the amplification of films by people of color and women which was named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies.

Ava DuVernay