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Ava DuVernay Biography

Birth Place:
Long Beach, California, United States
Director, screenwriter

Fast Facts

  • Worked as a marketer and publicist for 14 years, prior to becoming a filmmaker
  • Made her directorial debut with the 2008 hip hop documentary, This Is the Life
  • Is the founder of ARRAY, a distribution collective dedicated to the promotion of films by people of color and women filmmakers
  • Was the first black female director to be nominated for a Golden Globe Award for her work in Selma
  • In 2015, Mattel created a Barbie Doll in her likeness, which sold out in 16 minutes


  • 2020Producers Guild Awards-David L. Wolper Award for Outstanding Producer of Long-Form Television: nominated
  • 2019Emmy-Outstanding Limited Series: nominated
  • 2019Emmy-Outstanding Directing For A Limited Series, Movie Or A Dramatic Special: nominated
  • 2019Directors Guild of America Awards-Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Movies for Television and Mini-Series: nominated
  • 2017Independent Spirit Awards-Best Documentary: nominated
  • 2017BAFTA Film Awards-Best Documentary: winner
  • 2017Emmy-Outstanding Writing for Nonfiction Programming: winner
  • 2017Emmy-Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Special: winner
  • 2015Independent Spirit Awards-Best Director: nominated
  • 2015Golden Globe-Best Director - Motion Picture: nominated
  • 2015Critics' Choice Movie Awards-Best Director: nominated
  • 2014Los Angeles Film Critics Association-New Generation Award: winner
  • 2013Independent Spirit Awards-John Cassavetes Award: winner
  • 2012Sundance Film Festival-U.S. Directing Award: Dramatic: winner


  • Murray Maye -- Father
  • Darlene Maye -- Mother