Ava DuVernay: MasterClass with Award-winning Filmmaker


MasterClass, the streaming platform where anyone can learn from the world’s best, announced that award-winning filmmaker Ava DuVernay will teach a class on directing the life you want to lead. Exclusively for MasterClass, DuVernay will take members on the actual set and through the post-production process of her newest film, ORIGIN. Filmed over a six-month period, the class showcases her methods for identifying, developing and executing a vision to direct the life that you want. The class is available now only on MasterClass, where subscribers have unlimited access to all 200+ instructors with an annual membership.

Ava DuVernay
Ava DuVernay

In this class, DuVernay takes MasterClass members on a journey of self-discovery, guiding them through the art of reframing their mindset to unleash their full potential in everyday life. The class provides an unprecedented, behind-the-scenes look into the filmmaking process for ORIGIN, dropping members right into the middle and allowing them to follow DuVernay’s journey in making the film. She uses the filming of ORIGIN as a backdrop to teach critical skills for leaders of all types, whether members lead a team, a family or are pursuing their first solo project. Members will learn how to find motivation, set their vision, build a strong team, lead with empathy, keep people engaged and take action every day.

“Collaborating with MasterClass to create a learning module unlike anything they’d done before was truly thrilling,” DuVernay said. “My goal was to make the viewer feel embedded in the action, intention and energy of directing and producing a feature film— with all of the discipline and dedication that the endeavor requires. Only MasterClass as a platform could provide the kind of a teaching experience that I wanted to share, one that offers a bird’s-eye view into the creative and philosophical process of filmmaking.”

Beyond ORIGIN, DuVernay’s feature work includes the Academy Award–winning historical drama SELMA; the Academy Award–nominated criminal justice documentary 13TH; the Sundance Best Director Award win for her micro-budgeted romance MIDDLE OF NOWHERE; and Disney’s A WRINKLE IN TIME, which made her the highest-grossing Black woman director in American box office history. In 2019, her four-part television series, WHEN THEY SEE US, was honored with 16 Emmy nominations. DuVernay’s critically acclaimed TV series QUEEN SUGAR is the longest-running Black family drama series by a Black woman creator in American television history. She amplifies films by people of color and women of all kinds through her nonprofit narrative change collective ARRAY, which is a winner of the Peabody Institutional Award. The filmmaker sits on the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, representing the directors branch. She is a vice president of the Directors Guild of America and an advisory board member of the American Film Institute. DuVernay has previously served on the juries of the Cannes Film Festival and Mumbai Film Festival.

MasterClass partnered with ARRAY’s Seat16 to bring the ORIGIN and MasterClass experiences to thousands of teens. Each $16 donation will give one young person in the U.S. a ticket to see ORIGIN and a free one-year membership to MasterClass.

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