Ava DuVernay: Hope and Excellence

In The Business, a film podcast hosted by Kim Masters, Masters interviewed director Ava DuVernay about her many projects, including her recently Oscar nominated documentary 13th, a film that sheds light on much of the injustice enacted upon African Americans throughout history that still continues today. Ava DuVernay is the first African American woman to have her film nominated for best documentary at the Academy Awards.

When talking about 13th, DuVernay mentioned that she never anticipated how relevant it would be, considering that the United States has now entered a regime of hard core conservatism, oppression, and fear all directed towards minorities. She said, “13th is now bumping up against this moment in history in a way that’s even more resonant than anything I could have imagined, unfortunately…” When discussing the political weight of the film and its appearance at the Oscars DuVernay mentioned how she is excited to see how this event will allow for the expression of rational, forward-thinking filmmakers on both sides of the aisle (conservative and liberal). She mentioned that this is a point in history that will studied about for years in the text books, so it is of vital importance to be aware.

DuVernay is also working on Disney’s A Wrinkle In Time, which is expected to be released in 2018. This is her largest film yet, at least in the sense of a budget. When asked if this was intimidating, DuVernay asserted that it was like making any other film. She feels relaxed.

DuVernay symbolizes the hope for modern film. She shows talent and a reasoned mind and serves as a champion for not only African Americans, but also women. One can only hope that the film industry can recognize her brilliance and push for more opportunities for women and African Americans. It is clear more excellent stories can be told by minorities. They deserve a chance.


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