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Ava DuVernay Named Guest Artistic Director of AFI Fest 2022

DuVernay has selected three independent films amplifying the voices and vision of women directors to showcase

Director Ava DuVernay will serve as the guest artistic director of AFI Fest 2022, the American Film Institute said Friday.

DuVernay is the latest director to fill the role, previously held by other illustrious filmmakers, including Pedro Almodóvar, Bernardo Bertolucci, Agnès Varda, and David Lynch, an Alumnus of the AFI Conservatory.

“AFI Fest holds a special place in my heart and career. My feature directorial debut ‘I Will Follow’ made its Los Angeles premiere at AFI Fest 2010,” DuVernay said in a statement. “I
still remember the feeling of validation and encouragement. It meant so much to me as
a first-time woman director to be seen and embraced. So, it is a true honor to be invited
to serve as the Guest Artistic Director. In this position, I’ve chosen to spotlight the role of
women directors in independent cinema by sharing the work of three remarkable
helmers: Kat Candler, Aurora Guerrero, and Victoria Mahoney.

“This trio of filmmakers cut their teeth in indie film and have gone onto direct dynamic work in all formats
following their television debuts on my series ‘Queen Sugar,'” DuVernay added. “With this programming, I want to wave a flag for what can happen when women have the opportunity and support
that is consistent with our male counterparts. Beautiful things blossom. My thanks to AFI
Fest for agreeing with and amplifying that notion.”

“The world looks to visionary artists to create a brighter future, and Ava DuVernay is
leading the way,” said Bob Gazzale, AFI President & CEO. “We are honored to shine a
proper light upon her selections – films that will inspire audiences and artists alike.”

The three films chosen by DuVernay are “Hellion” (2014), directed by Candler and starring Juliette Lewis and Aaron Paul; “Mosquita Y Mari” (2012), directed by Guerrero; and “Yelling To the Sky” (2011), directed by Mahoney and starring Gabourey Sidibe and Zoë Kravitz. DuVernay will also moderate a panel with all three directors.

The 36th edition of AFI Fest will take place in Los Angeles on Nov. 2-6. Tickets will be available in October on their official website.