In 2012 Ava DuVernay became the first African-American woman to win the Best Director Award at the Sundance Film Festival for her second film “Middle of Nowhere,” a fictional story following the life of woman dealing with the recent incarceration of her husband. DuVernay began her directorial debut with her 2008 hip hop documentary, “This is The Life.” In 2010, she wrote, produced and directed her next film, “ I Will Follow,” which critic Roger Ebert described as “…one of the best films I’ve seen about the loss of a loved one.” DuVernay has created several films tailored to the achievements of women including “My Mic Sounds Nice” chronicling the history of female hip hop artists and “Faith Through the Storm,” a documentary about African-American women who survived Katrina.
Prior to her career in film, DuVernay created DVA Media + Marketing, an award-winning firm which represented directors including Steven Spielberg and Clint Eastwood. She is also the founder of the African-American Film Festival Releasing Movement (AFFRM) and a member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
DuVernay represents Vision 2020’s National Goal of recognizing women in senior leadership positions. She is a graduate of UCLA double majoring in English and African-American studies.