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Just when you think Ava DuVernay can’t be any more inspirational and/or game-changing, she finds a new way to establish her greatness. Already one of the film industry’s most important diversity-minded voices, the Selma filmmaker has unveiled her latest act: she’s getting into the indie film distribution game.
Since 2010, DuVernay has been the main force behind the African-American Festival Releasing Movement (AFFRM), an organization dedicated to promoting films made by men and women from the various backgrounds that are typically overlooked by Hollywood’s elite. The AFFRM is responsible for efforts like New York City’s Urbanworld Film Festival, Atlanta’s BronzeLens Film Festival, Philly’s ReelBlack, and Seattle’s Langston Hughes Film Festival, as well as DuVernay’s pre-Selma, DIY films I Will Follow (2010) and Middle of Nowhere (2012). But now the AFFRM has evolved into ARRAY, a re-launched initiative that’ll still be focused on pushing smaller films produced by women filmmakers and those of color.
Learn more about ARRAY by visiting its official website. Wasting no time, DuVernay’s brainchild has already announced its first two new acquisitions, both of which are scheduled for Fall 2015 releases:
Ayanda and the Mechanic: Directed by Sara Blecher
After tragedy strikes, a young woman begins a journey of self-discovery as she struggles to save her father’s car repair shop along with her memory of him. Ayanda and the Mechanic is a coming-of-age story from writer/director Sara Blecher that takes us into a vibrant Johannesburg community alive with love and humor, risk and reward, tragedy and triumph. This film held its world premiere screening at the 2015 Los Angeles Film Festival winning the Special Jury Prize in the World Fiction Competition.
Out of My Hand: Directed by Takeshia Fukunaga
Out of My Hand takes viewers inside the humble life of Liberian rubber plantation worker, Cisco. Severe working conditions, failed unionization and corporate corruption ultimately drive him away from his family and his country to the foreign streets of New York City where his past forces him to confront his sense of isolation and belonging. This film debuted in the Panorama Section of the 2015 Berlin International Film Festival.