Ava DuVernay Offers a Free Education on How to Buck Hollywood

Ava DuVernay, director of the film “Selma.” (Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Ava DuVernay, director of the film “Selma.” (Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Ava DuVernay, director of the film “Selma.” (Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Stacia L. Brown, THE WASHINGTON POST

 

 

(The Washington Post) — Ava DuVernay, director of the Academy Award-nominated film “Selma,” spent all of this Wednesday amplifying the voices of black film directors — 42 of them, in fact. Through her company, the African-American Film Festival Releasing Movement, DuVernay and her staff organized a “Rebel-A-Thon” conversation on Twitter that served as both a fundraiser (AFFRM donors are referred to as Rebels) and a marathon question-and-answer session between directors and fans. All of the funds raised through AFFRM Rebel membership contributions help make independent black films available to wider audiences:

Wednesday’s Rebel-A-Thon was star-studded: Everyone from mainstream, veteran moguls such as Oprah, Tyler Perry and Debbie Allen to younger indie directors such as  Nailah Jefferson (“Vanishing Pearls”), Shaka King (“Newlyweeds”) and Tanya E. Hamilton (“Night Catches Us”) participated. A common theme among participating directors was the idea that upstart filmmakers should “just do it,” rather than waiting to be asked to make their art. When asked about resource texts for studying the filmmaking craft, “Medicine for Melancholy” director Barry Jenkins responded that he’d recommend actual shooting experience over textbooks.

 

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