By Sharee Silerio
Ava DuVernay, an award-winning screenwriter, producer, director and
distributor of independent films, has been named on Fortune Magazine’s “World’s Greatest Leaders”
list.

The annual list, in its fourth year, critiques focusing on the negative
things leaders do and instead aims to pay homage to people around the world who
“excel at leading effectively in today’s environment” in their respective
fields.
DuVernay
ranks No. 6 on the list
, and the magazine says that “Her success continues
to draw attention to Hollywood’s need for better representation of women and
minorities both in front of, and behind, the camera.”
The lack of diversity in film and television, including the limiting ways
black and brown people are often portrayed, has been called out and criticized
over the last few years. Viral hashtags like #OscarsSoWhite have shed light on
the Academy’s lack of minority nominations and accolades.
DuVernay is dedicated to diversifying the film industry through Array Now, a film distribution and resource
collective focused on amplifying independent films by women and filmmakers of
color, thus giving their work a voice.
This year, she received her first Oscar nomination for 13th, a documentary about the connection
between the prison system and racism in the United States. She is the first
black female director to be nominated for a Golden Globe Award and the first
black female director to have her film nominated for the Academy Award for Best
Picture. DuVernay continues to make history, as she is the first black woman to
direct a film with a budget of $100 million, for an adaptation of Disney’s A Wrinkle in Time.
Although she has been a filmmaker for less than a decade, she is a
trailblazer who has used her conscience and gift for storytelling to not only
change the film and television industries, but forge a path for others to do
the same.
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Sharee Silerio is a St. Louis-based freelance writer, Film and TV
writer-producer, and blogger. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication
from St. Louis University and a Master of Arts in Media Communications from
Webster University. When she isn’t creating content for
The Root or The St. Louis
American
, she enjoys watching drama, sci-fi, and comedy movies and
TV shows, writing faith and self-love posts for
SincerelySharee.com, relaxing
with a cup of chai tea, crafting chic DIY event décor, and traveling. Review
her freelance portfolio at
ShareeSilerio.com
then connect with her on
Facebook,
Instagram
and
Twitter.