- Date of Birth:
- August 24, 1972
- Los Angeles
Ava DuVernay (born Ava Marie DuVernay on August 24, 1972 in Long Beach, California) is an American director and screenwriter. Ava spent summers in Hayneville, Alabama, and she cited this time as a major influence when it came to make her film, Selma. She attended Saint Joseph High School, graduating in 1990 to attend UCLA. She graduated in 1995 with a double major in English and African-American studies. While in college, Ava became interested in broadcast journalism. She interned at CBS News and helped covered the O.J. Simpson murder trial. She switched over to public relations, working for Fox and Savoy pictures before forming her own agency, The DuVernay Agency (later DVA Media+Marketing.) In 2008, Ava made her feature directorial debut with the documentary, This Is The Life, a history of L.A.’s Good Life Café’s art movement. Her first narrative film, I Will Follow, was made in 2011. Her second film, Middle of Nowhere, won her the Best Director Prize at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. In 2014, Ava directed Selma, a docu-drama that depicted Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1965 Selma to Montgomery march. The movie received a Best Picture and Best Song nomination from the Academy Awards and a Golden Globe nomination for Best Director.
Best Known For:
Ava Duvernay is best known as a film director of the movies Middle of Nowhere and Selma.
Ava resides in Los Angeles. She is the oldest of five children. She cites Julie Dash, Halie Gerima and Charles Burnett as influences. In Dec. 2015, Ava was honored with a special edition Barbie doll based on her. It was an instant sell-out.