Ava DuVernay Kicks Off AFFRM Membership Drive to Support Black, Brown and Female Filmmakers

“The money goes into a pot and we use it to distribute films,” “Selma” director tells TheWrap

Ava DuVernay‘s African-American Film Festival Releasing Movement (AFFRM) has launched its second annual membership drive, in an effort to assist black, brown and female filmmakers.

“It’s important that we support filmmakers who are being excluded from the traditional ways of distributing their films,” DuVernay told TheWrap Monday.

Since 2011, AFFRM’s Array Releasing has distributed eight independent features including DuVernay’s “Middle of Nowhere,” which won the 2012 Sundance directing award and Alrick Brown’s “Kinyarwanda,” winner of the 2011 Sundance Audience Award.

“I financed AFFRM for the last four years out of my directing money,” said DuVernay, who founded the film releasing collective. “But last year we started to say, ‘hey, does anyone want to donate to this effort?’ And
we had a donor drive that we call a ‘rebel drive’…  and we had some 750 people who gave.”

The group’s 30-day membership campaign runs from May 4 through June 5 and is supported by such Hollywood insiders as “Selma” star David Oyelowo and “Dreamgirls” actress Anika Noni Rose.

DuVernay is currently writing and will also executive produce and direct “Queen Sugar,” an original series based on a novel by Natalie Baszile for Oprah Winfrey‘s OWN.

Despite her busy schedule, DuVernay says she’ll continue to play an active role in AFFRM. “It’s a part of me and it’s just as important for me as the films that I make.”

AFFRM membership is open to all film enthusiasts. For details, go to the group’s website or watch the video below.