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Ava DuVernay

Submitted by: Tribeca Film Institute

Ava DuVernay

Winner of the Best Director Award at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival for her second feature film Middle of Nowhere (pictured above), Ava DuVernay is a writer, producer, director and distributor of independent film. Her directorial work also includes the critically-acclaimed dramatic feature I Will Follow, as well as the music documentaries This Is The Life and My Mic Sounds Nice. She is founder of the African-American Film Festival Releasing Movement, better known as AFFRM.

Upcoming Project

Part of the Sky (Development, 2013)

Two displaced people from different walks of life meet in Compton, California and begin a relationship that changes each of their paths.


Middle of Nowhere (2012)

What happens when love takes you places you never thought you would go? As Ruby (Emayatzy Corinealdi) rides a bus through the inner city streets, she wills herself to push away memories that crowd her. Four years earlier, she was a vibrant medical student married to the love of her life, Derek (Omari Hardwick). Now, she makes her way to the maximum security prison on the outskirts of town. This is where her love now resides. Behind coiled razor wire and forty foot concrete walls. As the couple stares into the hallow end of an eight-year prison sentence, Ruby must learn to live another life, one marked by shame and separation.

But through a chance encounter with hard-working bus driver Brian (David Oyelowo) and a stunning betrayal that shakes her to the core, she is soon propelled in new and often frightening directions of self-discovery. As we chronicle her turbulent yet transformative journey, we witness the emergence of a broken woman made whole.

Winner of the 2012 Sundance Award for Best Director

I Will Follow (2010)

Maye is a success. Hot career. Hot boyfriend. But when her world is turned upside down by tragedy, she must struggle to keep her balance.

Hailed by critic Roger Ebert as "... one of the best films I've seen about the loss of a loved one," I Will Follow chronicles a day in the life of a women at a crossroads, and the twelve people who help her move forward into a brave, new world.

This Is The Life (2008)

This is the Life chronicles the little known story of a group of teenagers who revolutionized hip hop by innovating the very rhyme patterns, melodic concepts and lyrical styles used by many of today’s biggest rap stars. This alternative music movement flourished in Los Angeles in the early 1990s. This particular aesthetic, which has garnered fans worldwide, is free of profanity and focused on stylistic integrity.

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