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Ava DuVernay

at the San Francisco Black Film Festival 2008
Born Ava Marie DuVernay
August 24, 1972 (1972-08-24) (age 37)
Long Beach, California, United States
Occupation film director, film marketer, publicist
Years active 1999 – present

Ava DuVernay (born August 24, 1972) is an American filmmaker and marketer.

Film Marketing

DuVernay formed her award-winning publicity and marketing firm, The DuVernay Agency, in 1999. The company is currently known as DVA Media + Marketing. DVA has provided strategy, services and execution for more than 100 film and television campaigns by directors such as Steven Spielberg, Clint Eastwood, Michael Mann, Robert Rodriguez, Bill Condon, Raoul Peck, Gurinder Chadha and Reggie & Gina Bythewood.

Through DVA, she also owns and operates the nation's largest urban retail promotional network, Urban Beauty Collective. She launched Urban Beauty Collective in 2003.


In 2006, she made her screenwriting and directorial debut with the short film, "Saturday Night Life," starring Melissa DeSousa. The film was selected for national broadcast by Showtime in February 2007 through the network's Black Filmmaker Showcase.

Her feature script "The Middle of Nowhere" was a finalist for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences Nicholls Fellowship, and was selected for IFP’s No Borders program in 2006. According to IMDB, Sanaa Lathan and Ruby Dee are attached in lead roles, with Oscar winner Ed Saxon producing.

In 2008, DuVernay made her feature directorial debut with the documentary, This is the Life, which won audience awards in Los Angeles, Toronto and Seattle, and was invited to screen at the National Black Arts Festival in Atlanta. The film opened theatrically in March 2009, and premiered on Showtime Networks in May 2009.

According to, DuVernay is directing a film called "I Will Follow," which she wrote and is financing. The cast features Salli Richardson-Whitfield, Tracie Thoms, Michole White, Omari Hardwick and Beverly Todd and is shooting fall of 2009 in Los Angeles.

Currently, Ava DuVernay sits on Los Angeles Mayor Villaraigosa's Census 2010 Communications Steering Committee, as well as the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Public Relations Committee.

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