Indie Trailblazers Ava DuVernay and Emayatzy Corinealdi | 30 Days Unchained : Day 7 Wednesday 16 January, 2013

Ava Emayatzy 30unchained Header Finalized

30 Days Unchained/#30unchained | Day: 7 – 1/16/13 | Inspiration: Ava DuVernay and Emayatzy Corinealdi A dream realized is a beautiful thing. Just ask Ava Duvernay of AFFRM (The African American Film Festival Releasing Movement), an independent filmmaker who had the vision to leave behind a legacy on her own terms with an innovative approach to […]

30 Days Unchained/#30unchained | Day: 7 – 1/16/13 | Inspiration: Ava DuVernay and Emayatzy Corinealdi

Ava DuVernay and Emayatzy Corinealdi

A dream realized is a beautiful thing. Just ask Ava Duvernay of AFFRM (The African American Film Festival Releasing Movement), an independent filmmaker who had the vision to leave behind a legacy on her own terms with an innovative approach to filmmaking that is decidedly outside the mainstream. Speaking of her creative strategy, DuVernay shares: “This is a model that I’m hoping other niche communities and people that are gathering and congregating around all kinds of films can learn to do. And it’s basically saying, ‘don’t wait for permission; don’t look to this corporate entity to say your film was good enough to put out’…We really are doing something that the studio and Hollywood system says can’t be done: Regular people distributing films, regular people deciding the fate of our films. Regular people saying, ‘You know what, maybe Hollywood doesn’t have all the answers as to what we want to see or what we can do.”

The unprecedented success of Middle of Nowhere makes cinematic history as the #1 Speciality Film Release and the #1 Highest Grossing Film Per Screen in the nation. In addition to shattering box-office records, Ava DuVernay is the first African-American woman to win Best Director at the Sundance Film Festival. Ava’s passion to leave behind a story that will last a lifetime blazes a trail for future indie filmmakers to follow her footsteps. Just like Ava, all of us have the ability to make art that affects the way we see ourselves and the way we are seen. Ava’s drive is the inspiration for today’s challenge…

Challenge (Find, Create, and Remix an Image that answers the question): What will your artistic legacy be?

Share your image(s) on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest and be sure to tag @liveunchained and use the hashtag #30unchained so we can shout you out! Be sure to follow us on FacebookPinterest and Twitter to keep up with the latest #30unchained news.

Ava DuVernay, the independent film director, writer and founder of The African American Film Festival Releasing Movement (AFFRM), again invested her own savings for her most recent film, “Middle of Nowhere.” As Ava explains: “[We’re] basically saying, ‘don’t wait for permission; don’t look to this corporate entity to say your film was good enough to put out…We really are doing something that the studio and Hollywood system says can’t be done: Regular people distributing films, regular people deciding the fate of our films. Regular people saying, ‘You know what, maybe Hollywood doesn’t have all the answers as to what we want to see or what we can do.”

Rebel filmmakers who would rather spend their inheritance to fund movies outside of the mainstream instead of compromise their vision and anyone who understands (as explained in Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow) that there is nothing natural nor inevitable about the overwhelming incarceration of black men and women in the United States, will appreciate this cinematic pearl. 

Emayatzy Corinealdi in “Middle of Nowhere,” Now playing at West End Cinema in Washington, DC

Middle of Nowhere” tells the story of Ruby (played by lead actress Emayatzy Corinealdi), a woman who leaves medical school to support her husband’s defense when he (Omari Hardwick) is sentenced to 8 years in prison. Tension increases for Ruby when she takes an interest in another man (David Oyelowo) and learns a lot about herself, love and sacrifice in the process.

Live Unchained co-founder and president, Kathryn Buford, and intern, Kheprisa Burrell interviewed writer/director, Ava DuVernay, and lead actress, Emayatzy Corinealdi, in the organization’s new series “Live Unchained Art Lounge.” The discussion explored DuVernay and Corinealdi’s extensive research for the film, creative vision and a fun collectively improvised poem inspired by “Middle of Nowhere.”

This article is edited from an original feature with Ava DuVernay and Emayatzy Corinealdi. View the earlier piece  here.

30 Days Unchained/#30unchained is an interactive creative countdown to the Live Unchained Anniversary Celebration . Everyday for 30 days, we’ll share some of our most popular interviews with Live Unchained featured artists. They include women creatives of various disciplines from across the African diaspora. Her creative journey will be the inspiration for your challenge. To participate simply respond to the challenge question with images (not words). Share it on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest and be sure to tag @liveunchained so we can shout you out – it’s that simple. Learn more about 30 Days Unchained, including rules and prizes hereGet your daily challenge from Thursday, January 10th through the day of the big bash on Friday, February 8th at www.liveunchained.com.

Written by Aleyna Jones and Kathryn Buford

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