Publicist-Turned-Filmmaker Ava DuVernay Gets Glowing AP Profile

A year that began with Ava DuVernay claiming the first-ever win by a black woman of Sundance’s Best Director prize continues apace this month for the former film publicist. As she told AP entertainment writer Sandy Cohen, “I’m living my dream.”

DuVernay’s sophomore effort Middle of Nowhere has received Twitter seal of approval from Oprah Winfrey. Her previous, first effort was endorsed by Roger Ebert. With that kind of Chicago backing, it’s no surprise that DuVernay is already hard at work on her next project – a documentary about Venus Williams – and palns to make a movie a year. From Cohen’s profile piece:

There’s a massive congratulatory bouquet of orchids on the desk in her small office overlooking Van Nuys Boulevard… A magnum of Moet with a big gold bow on top sits on the floor…

Bringing light to untold stories and broadening the scope of black independent film is what moves DuVernay to distribute her own projects and those of other black filmmakers. “Black audiences are not used to art-house fare because they’ve not had any kind of diet of it. It’s not been provided to them,” she said. “And independent audiences are not used to black fare.”

The name of DuVernay’s film company is wonderfully self-affirming; it’s called the African American Film Festival Releasing Movement (AaFFRM). More info here.

Previously on FishbowlLA:
Newspaper Reporter Film Role Rewritten to Accommodate Talented British Thesp

@hollywoodspin Richard Horgan is co-editor of Fishbowl.