A&O, the Multicultural Filmmakers Collective and Inspire Media will bring director Ava DuVernay to the Allice Millar Chapel on May 18 to screen her film Selma. After the screening, DuVernay will deliver a keynote address and host a Q&A with the audience.
DuVernay entered Hollywood not in the director’s chair, but as a publicist for a diverse range of films, from Scary Movie to The Help. This is the Life, her directorial debut, detailed the history of the Los Angeles underground hip hop scene in the 90s, while her first theatrical film I Will Follow and her Sundance hit Middle of Nowhere focus their narratives on similar themes of humanity, artistry and the inextricable links between them.
DuVernay is the first female African American director to be nominated for two of the most coveted awards in filmmaking, the Golden Globe and the Academy Award. Selma garnered attention for a dramatic musical presentation of the film's song "Glory" at the Academy Awards, where the son also earned an Oscar for performers John Legend and Common.
Selma was DuVernay’s biggest film to date, but went through some major changes under her direction. The original screenwriter Paul Webb intended for the film to focus on Lyndon B. Johnson and Martin Luther King Jr. But once the movie moved from Lee Daniels’ hands to hers, DuVernay radically shifted the story's emphasis, rewriting roughly 90 percent of the script to accommodate copyrights and place more focus on the activists behind the Selma marches. Since the film's release, DuVernay has become an outspoken personality on Twitter, providing a voice for people of color in the arts and even serving as the inspiration for a Barbie doll in the new "Sheroes" collection (I’m not even kidding). As a self-proclaimed proud black woman filmmaker, Ava DuVernay is paving the way for non-white perspectives in the mainstream.
This event is also sponsored by The Women's Center, Department of Communication Studies, Department of Radio/TV/Film, Department of African American Studies, Department of American Studies, Department of Asian American Studies and Department of Latina & Latino Studies. Entry will be free for the Northwestern community and can be purchased by the general public for $10. Tickets should be reserved or purchased from the Norris Box Office.