53 Inspiring Quotes of Ava DuVernay

” Creativity is an energy. It’s a precious energy, and it’s something to be protected. A lot of people take for granted that they’re a creative person, but I know from experience, feeling it in myself, it is a magic; it is an energy. And it can’t be taken for granted. “
” When we’re talking about diversity, it’s not a box to check. It is a reality that should be deeply felt and held and valued by all of us. “
” I want more girls to be able to see themselves behind the camera creating images we all enjoy, and I want to call attention to the fact that women directors are here all over the world. “
” I think any black woman is a queen. It’s just, do you know it? Do you see it in yourself? Do you recognize it, do you abide by that, do you define yourself as that? Based on who we are and what we’ve been through and how we survive and where we stand, we are on kind of sacred ground. We stand on the backs of our ancestors. “
” Be passionate and move forward with gusto every single hour of every single day until you reach your goal. “
” If you’re doing something outside of dominant culture, there’s not an easy place for you. You will have to do it yourself. “
” Artists should be free to create what we want. I believe there’s a special value in work that is a reflection of oneself as opposed to interpretation. When I see a film or a TV show about black people not written by someone who’s black, it’s an interpretation of that life. “
” There’s something very important about films about black women and girls being made by black women. It’s a reflection as opposed to an interpretation. “
” If your dream is only about you, it’s too small. “
” You could make the most beautiful film, and that weekend it’s raining too hard on the East Coast, and no one goes out. Artists should have a chance to do it again. That’s the challenge: Women artists don’t get a second chance. People-of-color artists don’t get a second chance. You’re put in director’s jail, and that’s a wrap. “
” You could make the most beautiful film, and that weekend it’s raining too hard on the East Coast, and no one goes out. Artists should have a chance to do it again. That’s the challenge: Women artists don’t get a second chance. People-of-color artists don’t get a second chance. You’re put in director’s jail, and that’s a wrap. “
” Oprah Winfrey is a big role model for me from a business capacity and a creative capacity. She is an incredible interviewer who cultivated a certain style by inserting her own personhood into a show on national television at a time when no one was talking about empowerment, spirituality, or our inner lives. “
” I love community, I love to be around other people. I love to be around other people when everyone’s feeling good and doing their best. Not to just be the only one in the room that’s shining. “
” I want to be an old lady, with my cane, shouting, ‘Action!’ and ‘Cut!’ “
” I love to see people just being regal in their own skin; it’s just when they know who they are. “
” There can be a progression to the dream; there can be steps to it. When you dissect any successful person’s story, it’s really rare that it was all or nothing. It’s steps, and I just try to remind myself of that in terms of the things that I want; it’s like, everything is a step, leading you to where you need to go. “
” I am honored to be one of this year’s Urbanworld ambassadors for the festival’s 20th anniversary, joining my friend David Oyelowo. I have always had a special relationship with Urbanworld, back to my days as a festival publicist to previewing my earlier films and now as an ambassador. “
” The way that we’re consuming what we watch. Netflix, binge-watching, destination agnostic were not terms. It was about networks, times, dates. Even with feature films, you had to see it this way, in this capacity, at this time. All that has changed. Now it’s really about the story. It’s a gift that I became a storyteller at this time. “
” ‘Queen Sugar’ is a drama about family. It’s something that allows us to be ourselves and see the ways that we interact with our own families. “
” In Hollywood, there is one dominant voice. It is a white, male, straight gaze. When I talk about positive portrayals of black people and women, I’m saying complexity. I’m not saying goody-two-shoes, everything’s okay. No. The positive view of me is to see me as I am: the ‘good,’ the ‘bad,’ the gray. That is a positive portrayal. “
” Nonviolence is pretty ballsy, pretty advanced weaponry. “
” All black women aren’t sassy, loud, difficult, or subservient. We are, in fact, very complex and very diverse, living very complex and diverse lives. That point cannot be made enough. “
” My next project is ‘Venus Vs,’ which is a documentary that follows tennis star Venus Williams and her effort to get equal-award pay for women at Wimbledon. Most people don’t realize that Venus fought for years to make sure women and men winners of that tennis championship received the same amount in award money. “
” I intend to be making films until I’m an old lady. So, if God willing I get there, I need to create a paradigm for myself where I can make it regardless of whether or not they still like what I’m making. “
” I’m a filmmaker to my bones. “
” I didn’t start out thinking that I could ever make films. I started out being a film lover, loving films, and wanting to have a job that put me close to them and close to filmmakers and close to film sets. “
” All the traditional models for doing things are collapsing; from music to publishing to film, and it’s a wide open door for people who are creative to do what they need to do without having institutions block their art. “
” All the traditional models for doing things are collapsing; from music to publishing to film, and it’s a wide open door for people who are creative to do what they need to do without having institutions block their art. “
” Every filmmaker imbues a movie with their own point of view. “
” If I can be in a place where my image is encouraging people to see different people behind the camera, and my image and the images I make can help open up a certain world view, I think that’s all a part of a larger spirit of change and progress, and I’m happy to be part of it. “
” I made my first film when I was 35, so I firmly believe that you don’t have to be one thing in life. If you’re doing something, and you have a desire to do something different, give it a try. “
” All the films I do, I write the scripts, I direct. “
” I make films about black women and it doesn’t mean that you can’t see them as a black man, doesn’t mean that he can’t see them as a white man or she can’t see them as a white woman. “
” The studios aren’t lining up to make films about black protagonists, black people being autonomous and independent. “
” Art is something that grows and breathes and lives, and it shouldn’t be predicated on the success of box office – but it is. But within that, you have to give people a chance to find their voice, to play, to continue to create. “
” Diversity is not one in the room. Diversity is not two in the room. Diversity is not three in the room. True diversity is half the room. “
” If you walk into a room, and there is no one that’s not like you there, whether it’s a woman or a person of color, anyone that’s different from you, you should be able to say this is a problem. We need allies in that room to say that video, this room, this company, these ideas, this film, this whatever, this is not right – this is not good enough. “
” Why do we always have to see black people in hindsight? Why are the Hollywood movies always historical? What about the contemporary image of black people? “
” I think that black people making art, women making art, and certainly black women making art is a disruptive endeavor – and it’s one that I enjoy extremely. “
” I’m a big people watcher and a people talker. The beautiful thing about being an artist and a creative person is that you can get an idea from anywhere, and I’m always on the hunt for them. “
” Women have been trained in our culture and society to ask for what we want instead of taking what we want. We’ve been really indoctrinated with this culture of permission. I think it’s true for women, and I think it’s true for people of color. It’s historic, and it’s unfortunate and has somehow become part of our DNA. But that time has passed. “
” There’s a belonging problem in Hollywood. Who dictates who belongs? The very body who dictates that looks all one way. “
” As long as you’re in an environment where the worth of the project isn’t based on the project but what its predecessors did, it’s not truly inclusive. “
” I’m not signing on to direct ‘Black Panther.’ I think I’ll just say we had different ideas about what the story would be. Marvel has a certain way of doing things, and I think they’re fantastic, and a lot of people love what they do. I loved that they reached out to me. “
” I don’t even really see sit-ins and marches as passive. I see them as quite assertive. I see those as emotionally aggressive tactics. I see people putting their lives on the line and being bold and brave. “
” Today, when you look at social media, you see that the narrative can be overtaken by people just from Twitter and Instagram. I know when Ferguson was going down those first few nights, I was watching feeds on the ground on Twitter, not CNN. “
” I didn’t go to film school. I got my education on the set as a niche publicist in the film industry. “
” I think that if we really want to break it down, that non-black filmmakers have had many, many years and many, many opportunities to tell many, many stories about themselves, and black filmmakers have not had as many years, as many opportunities, as many films to explore the nuances of our reality. “
” I think good publicists are just like good mommies – always looking out, making sure folks are comfortable and making sure that folks are on time and making sure that folks are getting what they need and know what they need to do. “
” I’ve been to Sundance eight times as a publicist and thought I was very prepared. I mean, who could’ve been more prepared for me? A publicist who’s been there eight times. Getting there as a filmmaker was a completely surreal, different, unexpected experience. “
” I tell the stories that are of interest to me. “
” I don’t understand the iPhone. I just don’t get it. Don’t ya’ll have to write serious emails throughout the day? How can you possibly manage detailed missives on a phone with no keys? “
” I wish I could be the black woman Soderbergh, and put the camera on my shoulder and shoot beautifully while I directed. “