Be passionate and move forward with gusto every single hour of every single day until you reach your goal.— Ava DuVernay
The most craziest Ava DuVernay quotes to discover and learn by heart
Ignore the glass ceiling and do your work.
If you're focusing on the glass ceiling, focusing on what you don't have, focusing on the limitations, then you will be limited. My way was to work, make my short... make my documentary... make my small films... use my own money... raise money myself... and stay shooting and focused on each project.
Time will tell ... whether folks want to point and stare at the black woman filmmaker who made a certain kind of film, and pat her on the back, or if they want to actually roll up the sleeves and do a little bit of work so that there can be more of me coming through.
Figure out what you need to do to be the heroine of your own story.
If you're doing something outside of dominant culture there's not an easy place for you. You will have to do it yourself.
When you're in your lane, there's no traffic.
We have to find new ways to work without permission, new ways to turn corners and go through doors that are closed off to us to create our own audiences and our own material independently.
All the traditional models for doing things are collapsing;
from music to publishing to film, and it's a wide open door for people who are creative to do what they need to do without having institutions block their art.
I did not have any problem with speaking up because my mother, my family, my grandmother, my aunt - I grew up in a family dominated by women - always encouraged me to do so. And if a girl is unafraid, then the world is her oyster.
Usually, you have two people in a scene, and in the history of cinema the hero is most likely going to be the white guy. And the other guy is his friend who is carrying the bag or whatever, and you're not going to light for that guy.
Because my mom always told me that I could. From a very early age, I felt comfortable leading.
I didn't start out thinking that I could ever make films.
I started out being a film lover, loving films, and wanting to have a job that put me close to them and close to filmmakers and close to film sets.
We're a new world and it's not pretty.
It's going to be for the brave to figure out how to survive in this.
I didn't go to film school. I got my education on the set as a niche publicist in the film industry.
When I'm marketing a film, whether its mine or someone else's, I work with a great deal of strategy and elbow grease until the job is done.
Netflix represents, as well as all the streaming services, something that I've been talking about being so important to inclusive voices around films.
These are dark times for a lot of people who believe differently than our incoming administration [of Donald Trump], but there's also joy there, and there's also something in unifying around the things that we do believe in.
I know that there are a lot of great women that have gone before me, so it's important to acknowledge them.
At the end of the day, I had to remain dedicated to historical accuracy.
What we tried to do in 13th was get to the bottom of that.
What were they motivated by? But certainly the attention that the Attorney General's office paid to it allowed for there to be some dialogue across the aisle that I think were the first steps then in change.
I'm not to say that my male counterparts do, but certainly, it feels very special to me because I know that so few women have had the opportunity to do what I'm doing, so I'm thrilled by it every day.
In documentaries, there's a truth that unfolds unnaturally, and you get to chronicle it. In narratives, you have to create the situations so that the truth will come out.
I always go into a blocking rehearsal with an anchor, with a blocking plan.
And sometimes they'll step into the room and they'll be in costume and you're like, "That sucks, that's not going to work. Let's think of something new."
Those [old] days are gone... accept the reality and do it.
To pretend like Hollywood is anything other than that is disingenuous.
#OscarsSoWhite is trendy, but for women filmmakers and filmmakers of color, it's not a trend. This is our reality, and it's important that we do something to change it.
Most of us think prison is a place where bad people go - which is what I thought for a long time - until you really start to look inside the system and you see, this is not right.
I don't want to say that in a place that's negative about what the fear is.
I just want to be a realist.
I was talking to Shonda Rhimes the other day and I said, "I.
Do. Not. Know. How. You. Do. This." While we're writing episode 10, episode 6 is shooting, episode 3 is in the edit, and episode 2 is in its color session...You've got seven episodes in different parts! It's a wild, wild, wild ride, which I thoroughly enjoyed. It was badass and amazing.
You know, often films that are deemed positive, nobody wants to see them.
I don't understand the iPhone. I just don't get it. Don't ya'll have to write serious emails throughout the day? How can you possibly manage detailed missives on a phone with no keys?
Film school was a privilege I could not afford.
It sounds kind of flighty, filmmaker-y, but I believe films are a piece of art.
They are meant to be what they're meant to be, and sometimes the artist is informed by the film of what it needs to be.
Folks can look at this issue and read it and it can feel like medicine, it can feel epidemic. We wanted this to hit people in their gut, and the hope is that by doing that, we can get more people to think more deeply about these issues.
There's never been a film with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at the center released in theaters. Ever! One does not exist. You've only seen tele-films and stage plays about him. Yet, we have big screens biopics about all kinds of people. So, I think it's only right that there be a full-length feature about Dr. King. I don't think there could be enough of them, but there should be at least one. So, here it is!
I just remember not having access to films as a young person who loved films but living in Compton. In order to see the film, I had to get on the bus and travel quite a ways to get to an arthouse theater - none of which you're gonna find in black and brown communities - to see anything that was outside of what the studios fed me, and that's not the case anymore.
[ Hollywood] is a patriarchy, headed by men and built for men.
For film, you know, the Tarantinos and Nolans of the world who are very focused on a certain kind of film aesthetic and a certain kind of presentation, to be honest, that comes from a place of privilege. It comes from a place of always having access to such, but when you ain't never - you can't see it because you can't even get to it.
I make films about Black women and it doesn't mean that you can't see them as a Black man, doesn't mean that he can't see them as a white man or she can't see them as a white woman.
Some black filmmakers will say, "I don't want to be considered a black filmmaker, I'm a filmmaker." I don't think that. I'm a black woman filmmaker.
I just remember not having access to films as a young person who loved films but living in Compton.
I think I am a little jealous of women who have great girlfriends as adults.
My parents [are my hero]. They've helped me be who I am.
I think there are a lot of people in this industry that have the ability, that have the position, they have the opportunity, they have the privilege to call the shots and could do it too.
I'm not the most athletic gal, but because making a movie is very physical, I slow down on the Krispy Kreme and Ice Blendeds. I start to get leaner and more focused - like I'm going into a boxing match - because I'm about to really try to put this idea on its feet.
Black people loving and losing is something we don’t see enough of.
We’re always in these heightened situations like something big is happening, something funny or something violent. And you know what? Sometimes we die of breast cancer or a broken heart. Things happen that are just not being explored cinematically. It’s time we reinvigorated that type of film.
I'm making and marketing my films, by any means necessary, and enjoying life while I do so.
As long as you're in an environment where the worth of the project isn't based on the project but what its predecessors did, it's not truly inclusive.
Hollywood needs more women directors, and Mama Ava needs a carafe and a half of that sweet vino divino.
We've had these bursts of cool years here or there but that's not change.
That's a trend. You only hope that this could be the beginning of true change.
I thing for female filmmakers a big issue is making their second and third films. You see the statistics, and the dropoff on the second and third [films] , are dire.