Ava DuVernay’s filmmaking passion began with a briefcase

Ava DuVernay is a director and producer who turns her passions into stories, from documentaries like “13TH” to big-budget sci-fi fantasy adventures. She’s a justice-seeker, a forward-thinker and a “Creator.”

Where it started:

DuVernay didn’t pick up a camera until she was 33 years old. As a child, she aspired to be a lawyer and later, a journalist. But an eventual career as a publicist landed her on sets and around filmmakers. “I was like, ‘If that guy can do it, then I can do it.'” She made her directorial debut with the 2008 documentary, “This is the Life.”

Words to live by:

“Treat others like you’d like to be treated. That’s a big, big, big, big thing. … I’ll see people get in the car and yell at a driver, but what if that was your father? That’s someone’s father. Give him the respect. Give him the honor of being a human being just as you are, especially in this industry — the entertainment industry — there’s a lot of hierarchical thinking.”

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