Ava DuVernay

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Award-Winning Director

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Ava DuVernay: Biography at a Glance

  • Ava DuVernay is the Emmy-winning director of Netflix's When They See Us, which follows the story of the Central Park Five. The four-part series not only became one of Netflix’s most-watched shows, but it also earned the streaming giant its most Emmy nominations with a total of 16.
  • She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary for 13th on Netflix, which also won 4 Emmy Awards out of its 8 nominations.
  • Her film, Selma, was nominated for 2 Academy Awards, including Best Picture.
  • Her first unscripted show, Home Sweet Home, challenges racial, religious, economic, geographic, gender, and identity assumptions by having families exchange homes for a week for a full-immersion cultural experiment.
  • Her other credits include I Will Follow, This Is the Life, Venus Vs, and Scandal, and Middle of Nowhere, which earned her the Sundance Film Festival Best Director Award.
  • Ava's film, Origin, made history with its debut at the Venice Film Festival, making her the first African American woman with a movie in competition at the festival.
  • DuVernay is the founder of Array, a community-based distribution collective dedicated to the amplification of films by people of color and women filmmakers. Array teamed up with Impact, Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s professional network, to become the largest hiring network in the entertainment industry. 



Academy Award nominee and Emmy, BAFTA and Peabody Award winner Ava DuVernay is a writer, director, producer and film distributor. Her feature directorial work includes the Oscar-winning civil rights drama Selma, the Oscar-nominated social justice documentary 13th and the Disney children’s adventure A Wrinkle in Time, which made her the highest-grossing Black woman director in American box office history. In 2019, she created, wrote, produced and directed the Emmy Award-winning limited series When They See Us. She is currently in production on Naomi for The CW, docuseries One Perfect Shot and DC Comics event series DMZ for HBO Max, Cherish the Day for OWN, Home Sweet Home for NBC and the animated series Wings of Fire for Netflix, and in post-production on Colin In Black and White for Netflix and Queen Sugar for OWN. Winner of the 2012 Sundance Best Director Prize for her independent film Middle of Nowhere, DuVernay amplifies the work of Black artists, people of color and women of all kinds through her Peabody Award-winning narrative change collective ARRAY, named one of Forbes Most Innovative Companies. She currently sits on the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Advisory Board of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and the Board of the American Film Institute.


I am getting so many rave reviews. Ava was nothing short of amazing!

Texas Women's Foundation

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