A Wrinkle in Time: Teaser Trailer from Oprah Winfrey and Ava DuVernay

Posted on July 16, 2017 at 11:52 pm

I could not be more excited about seeing one of my all-time favorite books brought to screen by one of my all-time favorite directors. Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time is a magnificent story of a brave girl named Meg who has to save her scientist father (Chris Pine). He disappeared while testing a theory about traveling through space. The book was rejected at first by publishers because it did not fit into any one category — it has adventure and science fiction and romance and questions of faith and philosophy. Meg, like Jo March and Mary Lennox, is smart, strong, and brave — and, crucially, succeeds because of her faults, not in spite of them.  I interviewed L’Engle’s granddaughter on the 50th anniversary of the book.

And now Ava DuVernay (“Selma”) is directing the movie version. This early glimpse of the film, which will be out next spring, looks thrilling. The trio of otherworldly creatures wonderfully named Mrs. Which, Mrs. Whatsit, and Mrs. Who, are played by Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, and Mindy Kaling.

I hope she signs up to do the whole series.

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Trailers, Previews, and Clips

If You Ever Responded to #BlackLivesMatter with “All Lives Matter,” You Need to See “13th”

Posted on October 12, 2016 at 3:33 pm

Ava Duvernay’s new documentary, a nominee for the inaugural Critics Choice documentary award, is “13th,” named for the amendment to the Constitution that abolished slavery — and, as this film shows, triggered racial injustice in other insidious, law-enabled ways. This is the movie that shows the strikingly different way that black Americans and white Americans interact with law enforcement and the prison system.

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Documentary Race and Diversity

Black Reel Awards: Selma Ties the Record

Posted on February 20, 2015 at 7:37 am

Copyright 2014 Paramount Pictures
Copyright 2014 Paramount Pictures
It is a great honor to be one of the voters for the Black Reel Awards and I am so proud of our winners this year, with “Selma” deservedly tying the record set by “Precious” with eight awards.

Outstanding Motion Picture
Selma | Oprah Winfrey, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner & Christian Colson (Paramount)

Outstanding Actor, Motion Picture
David Oyelowo | Selma (Paramount)

Copyright 2014 Twentieth Century Fox

Outstanding Actress, Motion Picture
Gugu Mbatha-Raw | Belle (Fox Searchlight)

Outstanding Supporting Actor, Motion Picture
Wendell Pierce | Selma (Paramount)

Outstanding Supporting Actress, Motion Picture
Carmen Ejogo | Selma (Paramount)

Outstanding Director, Motion Picture
Ava DuVernay | Selma (Paramount)

Copyright 2014 Paramount Films
Copyright 2014 Paramount Films

Outstanding Screenplay, Motion Picture
Chris Rock | Top Five (Paramount)

Outstanding Documentary
Anita: Speaking Truth to the Power | Freida Lee Mock

Outstanding Ensemble (Awarded to Casting Directors)
Selma | Aisha Coley (Paramount)

Outstanding Foreign Film
Fishing Without Nets (Kenya) | Cutter Hodierne (Drafthouse Films)

Outstanding Breakthrough Performance, Male
Tyler James Williams | Dear White People (Lionsgate/ Roadside Attractions

Outstanding Breakthrough Performance, Female
Teyonah Parris | Dear White People (Lionsgate / Roadside Attractions)

Outstanding Voice Performance
Morgan Freeman | The LEGO Movie (Warner Bros. Pictures)

Outstanding Score
Jason Moran | Selma (Paramount)

Outstanding Original Song
“Glory” from Selma | Performed by: John Legend & Common;
Written by: John Legend, Common & Che Smith (Paramount)

Outstanding Independent Feature
The Retrieval | Chris Eska

Outstanding Independent Documentary
25 to Life | Mark Brown

Outstanding Independent Short
#AmeriCan | Nate Parker

Outstanding Television Documentary or Special
Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown | Alex Gibney (HBO)

Outstanding TV Movie or Mini-Series
The Trip to Bountiful | Bill Haber, Cicely Tyson, Hallie Foote & Jeff Hayes (Lifetime)

Outstanding Actor, TV Movie or Mini-Series
Larenz Tate | Gun Hill (BET)

Outstanding Actress, TV Movie or Mini-Series
Cicely Tyson | The Trip to Bountiful (Lifetime)

Outstanding Supporting Actor, TV Movie or Mini-Series
Blair Underwood | The Trip to Bountiful (Lifetime)

Outstanding Supporting Actress, TV Movie or Mini-Series
Anika Noni Rose | A Day Late and a Dollar Short (Lifetime)

Outstanding Director, TV Movie or Mini-Series
Reggie Rock Bythewood | Gun Hill (BET)

Outstanding Screenplay, TV Movie or Mini-Series
Reggie Rock Bythewood | Gun Hill (BET)

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Awards Race and Diversity

Women Talk About Making Movies

Posted on January 27, 2015 at 3:55 pm

Copyright 2014 Ava DuVernay
Copyright 2014 Ava DuVernay
The New York Times talked to women in Hollywood about making movies. Some of the highlights:

“What’s wrong with bossy? It’s O.K. for a man.” Barbra Streisand, Director (“The Prince of Tides”)

It’s a conundrum: We can’t change it ourselves, but no one can change it but us.” Jennie Livingston, Director (“Paris Is Burning”)

“It was Gina Bythewood who told me, ‘If someone is just a pig to you on set, don’t deal with it behind closed doors, because you have to show the whole crew that you will deal with it and you will not have it.’ ” Ava DuVernay, Director (“Selma”)

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Commentary Directors Gender and Diversity
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