2013 The Root 100

The award-winning director was tapped to direct Brad Pitt's Selma, as well as other high-profile projects.

  • Influence: 185.4
  • Reach: 12.10
  • Substance: 7.3
  • Media Mentions: 374
  • Internet Mentions: 208000
  • Twitter Followers: 16131
  • Ava DuVernay

  • Since winning best director at Sundance, Ava DuVernay has steadily received more high-profile projects as a director for film, TV and commercials.
  • Job: Writer and director, founder of AFFRM, the African-American Film Festival Releasing Movement
  • Sector: Entertainment/Media
  • Twitter: @AvaEtc
  • Location: Los Angeles
  • Age: 41
  • Bio: Last year, Ava DuVernay won best director at Sundance for Middle of Nowhere; she was the first black woman to win that award. Her heightened status gave the publicist-turned-writer and director the platform from which she leaped. Since then, she's shown full black life in a variety of media: partnering with Fashion Fair and Prada for fashion campaigns dripping with black women, shooting a Venus Williams documentary for ESPN and directing an episode of Scandal for ABC this season. DuVernay also is slated to direct Selma, a long-stalled feature film on the life of Martin Luther King Jr., produced by Brad Pitt's Plan B production company. As if all of this wasn't enough, DuVernay also was invited to become a member of the vaunted Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, both as a writer and a director. And yet, DuVernay's most brilliant and legacy-making success may just be her company AFFRM, which distributes independent black films, like this summer's highly acclaimed Big Words.  Visit her website and like her Facebook page.
  • Fun Fact: DuVernay was a rapper during the 1990s as part of the duo Figures of Speech, for which she used the stage name Eve.
Behind the Scenes with Carol's Daughter founder, Lisa Price
Feb. 19 2015 4:38 PM
Lisa Price speaks on the growth of her company and the family that influenced her journey.