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Ava DuVernay’s ARRAY Partners With Google To Create Film Grant For Overlooked Creatives

Ava DuVernay’s ARRAY — her multi-platform media company and arts collective — and Google have partnered up to launch a new $500,000 feature film grant designed specifically to support emerging creatives from underrepresented communities. “Having started my filmmaking journey by self-funding projects, this is a full-circle moment,” DuVernay said in a statement. “I’m pleased to partner with Google and ARRAY’s grant advisory committee to identify an emerging writer/director to bring their vision to the screen. Inclusive storytelling is at the heart of ARRAY’s mission and we’re proud to also provide access to ARRAY Crew in order to further ensure that the set of the grantee’s film reflects the full array of the world around us.” According to Forbes, the award-winning director hopes this grant — referred to as The Array + Google Feature Film Grant — will clear a path for the next woman or person of color filmmaker to create their first feature-length film, and also foster a community of...

Jun 3, 2021

Ava DuVernay Adds 'Doctor' Title To Her Name After Receiving Honorary Degree From Yale University

Award-winning filmmaker Ava DuVernay is adding yet another unique title to her very lengthy resume. The past Saturday, May 22, marked the 320th Commencement ceremony for Yale University in which the college’s 2021 graduating class of undergraduate, professional, and graduate students gathered to be recognized for their latest academic accomplishment, Yale News reports. DuVernay was among those who were honored where she received an honorary doctorate degree from the university. She is now considered to be a Doctor of Fine Arts. “Creator and critic, you portray the richness and variety of human experience from all angles. By elevating others, you bring new stories into focus and amplify voices we need to hear,” Yale released in a tribute statement to DuVernay. “Hollywood maverick, for challenging us to reckon with our past and our present, and for working to change both an industry and society, Yale is pleased to confer on you this Doctor of Fine Arts degree.” Following the ceremony,...

May 26, 2021

Ava DuVernay, Peter Roth Launch Tech Platform to Connect Overlooked Talent With Hiring Managers in Hollywood

One year after the release of Emmy award-winning Netflix docuseries “When They See Us,” filmmaker and director Ava DuVernay launched her online learning platform, ARRAY, to encourage conversations around diversity and social justice. Now she’s taking her mission for inclusivity in Hollywood a step further with a joint venture alongside Warner Bros. Television chairman Peter Roth. Both DuVerynay and Roth have joined forces to announce the launch of Array Crew — a division of Array Alliance — which will act as a diverse database to highlight below-the-line talent in Hollywood, Variety reports. According to their announcement in the Los Angeles Times, the purpose behind assembling Array Crew is to offer Hollywood a solution to their diversity problem. The platform will ultimately bridge the hiring gap for women and people of color in the entertainment industry. Why do most film and TV sets look the same? The industry often tells us they’ve looked for Black folks, people of color and...

Dec 30, 2020

#OscarsSoWhite Inspiration Ava DuVernay Elected to Film Academy Board of Governors

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ recent election may yield impactful change . For the first time, its Board of Governors now has 26 women and 11 people of color on its 54-person board, including Ava DuVernay. According to The Hollywood Reporter , DuVernay, who defeated incumbent Kimberly Peirce, will serve a three-year term to represent the directors’ branch. She is one of six who will take new seats on the board, including Debra Zane, Stephen Rivkin, Linda Flowers, Lynette Howell Taylor, and Rob Bredow. Also, Whoopi Goldberg was among the ten members re-elected to their seats. “ Thank you to the members of the Directors Branch of @TheAcademy,” the “Selma” director tweeted . “ Life is a funny, fascinating thing. You never know what’s around the corner.” Thank you to the members of the Directors Branch of @TheAcademy . Life is a funny, fascinating thing. You never know what’s around the corner. — Ava DuVernay (@ava) June 10, 2020 The...

Jun 11, 2020

Ava DuVernay Launches Educational Platform to Dig Deeper on Projects Like 'When They See Us'

One year following the release of her Emmy award-winning “When They See Us” docu-series, Ava DuVernay is continuing conversations centered around social justice with the launch of a new online learning platform called “ARRAY 101.” According to The Hollywood Reporter , ARRAY 101 — launched by DuVernay’s multiplatform media company and arts collective ARRAY — is an online education initiative created to educate those who watch the company’s films and television series. DuVernay’s company is a culmination of “entertainment and socially conscious education,” Fast Company reports . “We’re going back into the catalog, creating very deep learning companions to help people elevate their understanding of what they’ve watched and go further to use the work as a springboard into deeper understanding,” DuVernay said. “As opposed to something you watched and felt bad about and just kept going.” In partnership with Participant , ARRAY 101’s focus for their first learning guide will be on “When...

Jun 1, 2020

Ava DuVernay Spotlights Women of Color in Upcoming Political Docuseries

Writer, producer, and director Ava DuVernay is painting a brighter future for women through her work. The award-winning filmmaker plans to shift the political landscape as she prepares to release a powerful docuseries highlighting women of color in politics titled, “And She Could Be Next.” “There are more of us than those who seek to do us harm.” AND SHE COULD BE NEXT debuts on @PBS via @POVdocs this summer. — Ava DuVernay (@ava) April 17, 2020 The PBS project — set to debut in June — will spotlight the movement of women of color making major strides in American politics. POV — part of PBS’ public television series that features independent nonfiction films — acquired the U.S. broadcast and streaming rights to the docuseries as part of PBS’ summer “Trailblazers” initiative to celebrate the centennial of the women’s vote, Deadline reports . The docuseries aims to pay homage to women of color who are using their voices to inspire change. “If ever there was a...

Apr 17, 2020

Ex-Prosecutor Sues Ava DuVernay and Netflix Over Portrayal in 'When They See Us'

Netflix and Ava DuVernay’s “When They See Us” miniseries has had a major impact on our social atmosphere and altered the way society as a whole views our criminal justice system. However, for others, its impact included calling their careers and credibility into question. One of whom happened to be Linda Fairstein, the former prosecutor responsible for the convictions of the Exonerated Five. Fairstein is now taking legal action against Netflix and Ava DuVernay after making claims that the miniseries “defamed” her. Released in May 2019, the four-part miniseries chronicled the true events of the arrests, trials, convictions, and exonerations of five teenagers of color — Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana, and Korey Wise — who became known as the Exonerated Five. In the miniseries, Fairstein was portrayed as a power-hungry prosecutor directing officers to coerce false confessions out of the five then-teenagers, while detectives held them in questioning for...

Mar 19, 2020