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31 Mar

Top Female Brand: Ava DuVernay, The Director Making History

Ava_DuVernay_The_Brandista_Guide

Top female brand Ava DuVernay, whose film Selma, based on the civil rights march that took place 50 years ago in Selma, Alabama made history + her career dreams come true.

 

At 42 years young, Ava DuVernay has accomplished several firsts on her career journey. Ava has been nominated for two Academy Awards, four Golden Globes, five Critics Choice awards, eight NAACP Image Awards and five Independent Spirit Awards. Selma chronicles the historic voting rights campaign led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  It is the first feature movie about the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Yes, that is certainly hard to believe but it’s true.  Ava is the first African American female director to receive a nomination for a Golden Globe and an Academy Award for Best Picture for her film.

At just 27, she caught the entrepreneur bug and launched her own public relations agency. Ava admits always being fascinated by moviemaking.  Early in her career, she recognized she held various talents and had become great at multitasking, this confidence inspired her to begin script writing in her free time. Ava credits her ability to multitask as a skill she was able to develop while running her public relations agency and working as a publicist.  For Ava, it was sometimes challenging to balance running her agency + focusing on script writing but ultimately- her passion fueled her.

 

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Ava DuVernay is convinced, for her own career path and others willing to take the risk, when you decide to pursue your dream full-time, wonderful opportunities come.

DuVernay believes at times you have to let go of certain things, in order to allow something new in. This is reminiscences of the ‘cleaning your closet’ concept.  We should always make room for new things in life, including new opportunities, experiences and energies. We live, we create, we dream, we create new things, this is  a cycle of our evolving lives.

According to DuVernay,  over the last 15 years, she has begun her morning by drinking four glasses of water followed by journaling. Every morning she journals about  things that she is grateful for.  Her journaling practice allows her to remain focus on the positive things unfolding in her life.  DuVernay believes in “deconstructing” our dreams.  She suggests,  ‘the dream’ doesn’t have to happen today, it can and may involve a process.  In her own life it has proven easier to take small but consistent steps instead of  a lot of big big steps at once.

When addressing her critics, Ava is self-assured in accepting she is not  your typical Hollywood director: she is not a man, she is not white and she is not young. Yet, she realizes that we all come to face with people who don’t understand, appreciate or believe in us. This top female brand, doesn’t allow this to influence her.  Ava is  busy moving, dreaming and creating as the eyes of the world watch her stories unfold.

 

Courtney Rhodes

Courtney R. Rhodes is an author, brand building and marketing strategist, and speaker with a passion for style, traveling, and sharing interesting and informative content. She is founder of The Brandista Guide + www.CourtneyRRhodes.com; a volunteer for women development and empowerment initiatives and a student of the arts, humanities, and the pursuit of happiness. Courtney is a graduate of Morgan State University ('98) and The University of Baltimore M.A. ('03).

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