Ava DuVernay on Race, Prison and Breaking Through in Hollywood

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HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 09: Presenter Ava DuVernay speaks onstage at the 32nd Annual IDA Documentary Awards at Paramount Studios on December 9, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for International Documentary Association) (Photo: Matt Winkelmeyer / Getty Images for International Documentary Association)

Filmmaker Ava DuVernay made headlines in 2015 when she became the first black female director to earn an Oscar nomination for best picture. Her movie "Selma," about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., became a focal point for last year's #OscarsSoWhite controversy after DuVernay and the film's leading actor, who is also black, failed to receive individual category nominations. DuVernay meanwhile has kept busy, creating her television series, "Queen Sugar," which features a black cast and an all-female directing team, and her new Netflix documentary, "13th," focusing on the relationship between race and mass incarceration in America.


Ava DuVernay, director of "Selma," the Oscar-nominated biopic on Martin Luther King Jr.