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'Selma' director Ava DuVernay to headline Forum

Tuesday, May 24, 2016  
Posted by: Barbara Francella
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Award-winning film director, writer and producer Ava DuVernay will close out the 10th annual NEW Executive Leaders Forum 2016, sharing her experiences breaking down gender and race barriers. More than 300 senior-level executives in the retail and consumer goods industry are expected to attend the by-invitation event, July 26-28 at Terranea Resort outside Los Angeles.

Nominated for two Academy Awards, four Golden Globes, five Critics Choice awards, eight NAACP Image Awards and five Independent Spirit Awards, DuVernay's film “Selma,” chronicled the historic 1965 voting rights campaign led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. She is the first black female director nominated for a Golden Globe Award.

Asked for one piece of advice she’d give women looking to succeed at any career, DuVernay told Advertising Age, “It would be to not ask for permission. Many of us, people of color, women, people who are outside the mainstream adopted culture, are trained and socialized to be permission based.”

Prior to directing and writing the screenplay for “Selma,” DuVernay’s wrote, produced and directed “Middle of Nowhere,” which earned her the 2012 Sundance Film Festival Best Director Award, making her the first woman of color to win the prize. She also won the 2013 John Cassavetes Independent Spirit Award and the Tribeca Film Institute 2013 Affinity Award for the film. In 2010, she wrote, financed, produced and directed her first narrative feature, “I Will Follow,” a family drama hailed by critic Roger Ebert as "one of the best films I've seen about the loss of a loved one."

DuVernay made her directorial debut with the 2008 hip-hop documentary “This Is the Life,” winner of Audience Awards in Toronto, Los Angeles and Seattle. She has directed an episode of ABC’s “Scandal,” “Venus Vs.” for ESPN, “My Mic Sounds Nice” for BET, and “John Legend Interludes” and “Essence Music Festival” for TV One. Previously, she worked as a marketer and publicist for more than 14 years, forming the award-winning DVA Media + Marketing in 1999.

To receive your invitation to the 10th annual NEW Executive Leaders Forum, contact your NEW Ambassador.

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