Ava DuVernay: AfroAmerica Network Woman of Year 2019

Ava DuVernay and Exonerated 5 at the Emmys in 2019

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Ava DuVernay is director, producer, and screenwriter. She is known as the first Black woman to win the Best Feature Directing award at Sundance in 2012, the first Black woman to get a Best Director Golden Globe nomination, the first woman of color to direct a Oscar-nominated best picture film, and the first woman to direct a film that grossed more than $100 million domestically.

Ava DuVernay is also known for producing Selma, a movie about Civi Rights led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr (see Selma: Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery Marches)

 On May 31, 2019, Netflix started airing a four parts life changing drama web television miniseries created, co-written, and directed by Ava DuVernay. The miniseries is based on events of the 1989 Central Park jogger case and explores the lives and families of the five men of color, including four African American and 1Hispanic men, who were falsely accused then prosecuted on charges related to the rape and assault of a white woman jogger in Central Park, New York City.

The fours falsely accused, Kevin Richardson, Antron McCray Yusef Salaam Korey Wise and Raymond Santana were convicted by juries of various charges related to the assault; four were convicted of rape. They were sentenced to maximum terms for juveniles except for Korey Wise, who was 16 at the time of the crime and treated as an adult by the legal system. He had been held in adult facilities and served his time in adult prison. They filed a suit against the city in 2003 for wrongful conviction and were awarded a settlement in 2014.

When They See Us is Life Changing Inspiring Work

With "When they See Us”, Ava DuVernay has created and produced an outstanding dramatic series. Her masterful work was portrayed and exposed to the public through the acting performance of Harris, Blackk, Herisse, Jerome and Rodriguez. Ava DuVernay creates such a powerful work that captures the challenges that people of color in America, especially Black people, face every day: hope, sadness, faith, bully, shame, joy, disgrace, devalue, overcoming, and so much more. The work also shows how the majority of people in the United States of America, like around the World, are good, decent, and caring human beings.


Ava’s work addresses head on the issues of racism, discrimination, dehumanization and its consequences on the lives of all, whether racists or non racists, the individuals and their families and their friends, in the present and in the future. The series, thanks to Ava DuVernay , was deemed a wake-up call for many: to fight for equality, social justice, justice in general and to reject any form of discrimination, racism, and prejudice, 

When They See Us has received the following nominations

  • Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Limited Series 2019
  • Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or a Movie
    2019 · Niecy Nash, Aunjanue Ellis
  • Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or a Movie 2019 · Vera Farmiga, Marsha Stephanie Blake
  • Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or a Movie, 2019 · Michael K. Williams, John Leguizamo, Asante Blackk
  • Satellite Award for Best Actress in a Mini-Series & Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television, 2020 · Aunjanue Ellis, Niecy Nash
  • TCA Award for Outstanding Achievement in Movies or Miniseries, 2019 · Netflix
  • Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Movie/Miniseries,  2020 · Asante Blackk, John Leguizamo
  • Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Movie/Miniseries, 2020 · Marsha Stephanie Blake, Niecy Nash
  • Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Actor in a Limited Series or Movie Made for Television, 2020 · Jharrel Jerome
  • Satellite Award for Best Actor in a Mini-Series & Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television, 2020 · Jharrel Jerome
  • Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Limited Series, 2020
  • Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie, 2020 · Jharrel Jerome
  • Satellite Award for Best Miniseries & Limited Series, 2020
  • Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series, Movie or Dramatic Special, 2019 · Ava DuVernay
  • TCA Award for Program of the Year, 2019 · Netflix

Ava Marie DuVernay was born on August 24, 1972 in Long Beach, California, one of 5 kids. She grew up in Lynwood bu, t during her summer vacations, she would travel to the childhood home of her father, near Selma, Alabama. According to Ava DuVernay, these summers along with the fact that her father had witnessed the 1965 Selma to Montgomery marches, influenced her in creating and producing Selma (see here: US Civil Rights Activist and Selma Icon Amelia Boynton Robinson dies at age 104)

She graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), with a double BA major in English literature and African-American studies.

 

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