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Ava DuVernay Changing The Game Of Film Distribution



By: Evette Champion

Upon the success from Selma, Ava DuVernay is in the process of expanding her distribution company, African American Film Festival Releasing Movement (AFFRM for short). The new company will be relaunched as Array and already has two films that are projected to be released in the fall: a coming-of-age drama Ayanda and the Mechanic, directed by Sara Blecher and a debut feature by Takeshi Fukunaga called Out of My Hand.

In an interview with Variety, she says that she has always felt that there were numerous films that have been made, but never seen. With Array, she hopes that those films will become seen. The focus of the company will be films that were created by minorities as well as women. Array hopes to increase the number of films that is released beyond what AFFRM is able to release, which is to films per year.

“It’s a definite evolution of what we were doing at AFFRM,” she said. “When I was out promoting ‘Selma,’ I became aware of so many other films that ought to be getting distribution. And this is a problem I can do something about because of my experience.”

AFFRM began in 2010 with the help of important arts organizations and film festivals. To date, the company has released Middle of Nowhere which was written and directed by DuVernay and stars David Oyelowo. The film won an award for Best Director at the Sundance Film Festival in 2012. Other films include Kinyarwanda, which won the 2011 Sundance World Cinema Audience Award; Restless City, which was featured in the “Next” section at Sundance; as well as Vanishing Pearls and Big Word—films that featured at Slamdance.

You can keep a look out for films distributed by Array both on the big screen as well as streaming platforms like Netflix. Right now, the streaming service has made Mississippi Damned, directed by Tina Mabry. Be on the watch, because we expect there will be some incredible things coming from Array in the future!


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