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Ava DuVernay to help female and ethnic minority filmmakers with new distribution company Array

DuVernay's recently relaunched company has helped Tina Mabry’s 2009 family drama 'Mississippi Damned' stream on Netflix in recently months

Daisy Wyatt
Wednesday 09 September 2015 11:30 BST
Ava DuVernay is favourite to direct Marvel's first minority-led superhero movie, Black Panther
Ava DuVernay is favourite to direct Marvel's first minority-led superhero movie, Black Panther (Getty Images)

Hollywood does not have a good record when it comes to films made by women or anybody who’s not white (especially if you fall into both categories), but Selma director Ava DuVernay is hoping to change that.

DuVernay plans to support more women and ethnic minority filmmakers through her newly relaunched distribution company Array, which is behind two movies released this autumn, Ayanda and the Mechanic by South African director Sara Blecher, and Out of My Hand by Japanese filmmaker Takeshi Fukunaga.

Array has also teamed up with Netflix to release Tina Mabry’s 2009 family drama Mississippi Damned, which began streaming on Netflix US recently.

“I’ve always felt there are so many films that get made but not seen…When I was out promoting Selma, I became aware of so many other films that ought to be getting distribution. And this is a problem I can do something about because of my experience,” she told Variety.

Fierce urgency: David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King Jr in 'Selma'

DuVernay has become a vocal figure about the lack of representation in Hollywood following the success of her 2014 Martin Luther King biopic, which was Oscar-nominated for best motion picture.

However, the director turned down the chance to become the first black woman to direct a Marvel superhero film after passing up the opportunity to helm Black Panther earlier this summer, due to artistic differences.

“I think I’ll just say we had different ideas about what the story would be. Marvel has a certain way of doing things,” she told Essence magazine.

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