For 31 years the Sundance Institute has been “dedicated to the discovery and development of independent artists and audiences,” supporting brave storytellers across the globe. Since it’s founding the Sundance Institute and it’s founder, Robert Redford have established many creative platforms for film and theatre artists to grow and showcase their talents; namely, the Sundance Film Festival… Held every year in January, the festival selects 200 films for exhibition, from a pool of 9,000 submissions, to be viewed by more than an average of 50,000 people.
This year, Ava DuVernay became the first black woman to win the prize of Best Director!
DuVernay started her career in the film industry building The DuVernay Agency, in 1999. The DuVernay Agency soon became DVA Media & Marketing, an acclaimed marketing and publicity firm, winning awards for the execution of strategized publicity for more than 100 film and television projects; Steven Spielberg, Clint Eastwood and Michael Mann among many others grace the list of DVA clients.
With all that exposure to film’s greatest talents it wouldn’t be too long before DuVernay made her feature directorial debut with a critically acclaimed hip hop documentary entitled, This Is The Life. Before debuting her first full length feature film, I Will Follow, DuVernay went on to direct and produce several other music documentaries, including My Mic Sounds Nice: The Truth About Women in Hip Hop, which aired on B.E.T in 2010.
Ava DuVernay’s current award-winning piece, Middle Of Nowhere, tells the story of Rudy Sexton (Emayatzy Corinealdio) and her husband Derek (Omari Hardwick), a recently convicted felon. The film portraits the emotions Rudy struggles with the sacrifices, the shame and the separation in her new role as ‘prison wife’.
Look out for the release of this film, check out all of Ava DuVernay’s projects and last but surely not least, join me in congratulating Ava on another GREAT success.