In the latest edition of HRC’s Equality Magazine, filmmaker Ava DuVernay talked about her new film, her upbringing in the South and what the fight for civil rights looks like today.

Ava DuVernayHer newest film, Selma, produced by Brad Pitt and Oprah Winfrey, centers on the months leading up to the march from Selma to Montgomery.

DuVernay, an Alabama native, felt very connected to the film and story. “My father is from Lowndes County, which sits between Selma and Montgomery – the area of Alabama where protesters marched through, under threat of sniper fire, during the final march. It’s my father’s birthplace – where I’ve gone every summer and Christmas for the last 10-some years,” she explained. “That part of the movement is a part of my family history. The majesty and magnificence of people coming together to protect and secure their rights is a story that’s so sweeping and important.”

While she may have Southern roots, DuVernay is a rising star in Hollywood. She made history two years ago as the first African-American woman to win a Best Director prize at Sundance for her film, Middle of Nowhere.

As a filmmaker she has made her mark by divulging the complexities between diverse groups of people and communities.

DuVernay told HRC “I don’t really approach it from an activist point of view. I approach it from a storyteller’s point of view who wants to reflect the world. You’re not being true as a filmmaker, as a storyteller, as an author of film, if you’re leaving out a whole group of people… whether they’re LGBT people, or black people, or women, or others. Just simply, I choose to tell stories about everyone.” 

Today, she became the first black female director to earn a Golden Globe nomination.

To learn more about DuVernay and Selma, check out this quarter’s edition of Equality Magazine.

Equality is published quarterly and the print edition is free to all HRC members. The magazine is also available digitally through the free HRC Equality Magazine App for iPad.

Filed under: Media

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