Filmmaker Ava DuVernay (writer, director, producer) to Receive Voice of Influence Award at PEN America 2019 LITFEST

DuVernay at the 2010 AFI Film Festival and SAG “BreakThrough” Filmmakers Party courtesy of Mariemaye under C BY 3.0

“Creativity is an energy. It’s a precious energy, and it’s something to be protected. A lot of people take for granted that they’re a creative person, but I know from experience, feeling it in myself, it is a magic; it is an energy. And it can’t be taken for granted.” Ava DuVernay



PEN America just announced that groundbreaking director, producer, and activist Ava DuVernay will receive the Voice of Influence Award at the organization’s 2019 LitFest Gala in Beverly Hills. She will join previously announced LitFest Gala honoree songwriter Diane Warren (Artistic Expression Award) at the 2019 LitFest Gala on November 1, 2019 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel.

“We are honored to recognize the unparalleled work that Ava DuVernay has done throughout her career, which constantly reminds us of the true purpose and power of storytelling,” said Michelle Franke, executive director of PEN America’s Los Angeles office. “We admire the rigor with which her work has explored the lesser-heard, all-too-often suppressed voices of history.

Michaelle Franke continued, “PEN America is proud to stand with leaders like Ava, who challenge and inspire us, and whose contributions further our mission to protect and celebrate creative expression and who use their words to transform the world.”

For more information on the PEN America’s 2019 LitFest Gala, visit HERE.

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Ava DuVernay in 2015 courtesy of usbotschaftberlin / Public Domain

Winner of the Emmy, BAFTA and Peabody Awards, Academy Award nominee Ava DuVernay is a writer, director, producer and film distributor. Her directorial work includes the historical feature film SELMA, the criminal justice documentary 13TH, and Disney’s A WRINKLE IN TIME which made her the highest grossing black woman director in American box office history. Based on the infamous case of The Central Park Five, her current project WHEN THEY SEE US recently garnered 16 Primetime Emmy Award nominations, including Outstanding Limited Series and Outstanding Director and Writer for a Limited Series nominations for DuVernay.

Currently, she oversees production on the fourth season of her critically-acclaimed TV series QUEEN SUGAR and her upcoming romance anthology CHERISH THE DAY for Warner Brothers Television. Making history as the first African-American filmmaker to win the Best Director prize at Sundance for her micro-budget, self-distributed feature MIDDLE OF NOWHERE, DuVernay continues to amplify the work of other people of color and women of all kinds through her non-profit film collective ARRAY, named one of Fast Company’s “Most Innovative Companies.” DuVernay sits on the advisory board of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, and co-chairs the Prada Diversity Council. She is based in Los Angeles, California.

This post courtesy of PEN America and Wikipedia

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PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide. Its mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible.


ABOUT 

Jamie Dedes. I’m a Lebanese-American freelance writer, poet, content editor, blogger and the mother of a world-class actor and mother-in-law of a stellar writer/photographer. No grandchildren, but my grandkitty, Dahlia, rocks big time. I am hopelessly in love with nature and all her creatures. In another lifetime, I was a columnist, a publicist, and an associate editor to a regional employment publication. I’ve had to reinvent myself to accommodate scarred lungs, pulmonary hypertension, right-sided heart failure, connective tissue disease, and a rare managed but incurable blood cancer. The gift in this is time for my primary love: literature. I study/read/write from a comfy bed where I’ve carved out a busy life writing feature articles, short stories, and poetry and managing The BeZine and its associated activities and The Poet by Day jamiededes.com, an info hub for writers meant to encourage good but lesser-known poets, women and minority poets, outsider artists, and artists just finding their voices in maturity. The Poet by Day is dedicated to supporting freedom of artistic expression and human rights.  Email thepoetbyday@gmail.com for permissions, commissions, or assignments.

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Recent and Upcoming in Digital Publications * The Damask Garden, In a Woman’s Voice, August 11, 2019 / This short story is dedicated to all refugees. That would be one in every 113 people. * Five poems, Spirit of Nature, Opa Anthology of Poetry, 2019 * From the Small Beginning, Entropy Magazine (Enclave, #Final Poems), July 2019 * Over His Morning Coffee, Front Porch Review, July 2019 * Three poems, Our Poetry Archive, September 2019


“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.”  Lucille Clifton

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