AVA DuVERNAY Tribute Festival in March

Storytelling can do more than entertain. It can shift and shape culture, it can right wrongs, and it can lift us all to a place where we can be more determined in our own lives.

Ava DuVernay

For Immediate Release

February 6, 2020




2020 One Woman One Vote DC and OCTFME present a city-wide tribute festival of Ava DuVernay’s work during the month of March shining the spotlight on the filmmaker’s national and global impact as a storyteller and champion of women and artists of color in the film and television industry.

(Washington, DC) The 2020 One Woman One Vote Festival in collaboration with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts present an evening with Ava DuVernay and a concert screening of her acclaimed documentary 13TH with a live performance of the film’s original score composed and conducted by Jason Moran (the Kennedy Center’s resident Artistic Director for Jazz) 8 pm,  Monday, March 9  at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. The 13TH event is part of the Kennedy Center’s DIRECT CURRENT festival and the culmination of the One Woman One Vote Festival’s DC city-wide series of films and symposia, presented in partnership with the District of Columbia’s Office of Cable, Television, Film, Music, Entertainment (OCTFME), highlighting Ava DuVernay’s work as a storyteller and champion of women and artists of color in film and television. 

13TH (2016), the “incendiary, indelible and indispensable” documentary (Rolling Stone) that scored Emmy, BAFTA, Critics Choice, and Peabody Award-winning director-writer-producer Ava DuVernay her second Oscar® nomination is named for the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery but permitted involuntary servitude as punishment for conviction of a crime, 13TH provides an in-depth investigation of the U.S. prison system and its role in our national history of racial injustice. 

13TH was selected by DuVernay for this presentation by the John F. Kennedy Center in collaboration with the 2020 One Woman One Vote Festival to kick off the Kennedy Center’s DIRECT CURRENT mainstage season. DIRECT CURRENT, now in its 3rd year, is the two week festival celebrating contemporary culture (March 8-21, 2020). This year Direct Current recognizes the 19th amendment centennial (gaining women the vote) with a special emphasis on women creators.

Ava DuVernay’s feature films, A WRINKLE IN TIME and SELMA, will screen in the REACH’s Justice Forum at the Kennedy Center March 14 and 15. Catherine Hand, producer for A WRINKLE IN TIME, based on Madeleine L’Engle’s 1962 novel, will be the special guest for a Q&A following the screening at 2 pm. AUGUST 28 a short film written, produced, and directed by Ava DuVernay about the significance of the date in African American history, will precede the screening of SELMA at the REACH Justice Forum.  AUGUST 28 was commissioned and is supported by the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. 

The 2020 One Woman One Vote Festival’s Ava DuVernay DC city-wide screenings are presented in partnership with the District of Columbia’s Office of Cable, Television, Film, Music, Entertainment (OCTFME). The free events feature additional feature films documentaries (MY MIC SOUNDS NICE: A TRUTH ABOUT WOMEN AND HIP HOP), television drama series (WHEN THEY SEE US), a virtual masterclass with QUEEN SUGAR writer Felicia Pride for students at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts, and titles released by Array, DuVernay’s film distribution and resource collective (MERATA at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian). The schedule will be posted on the 2020owovfest.org website. (Titles and dates subject to change.)

Since 2018 the 2020 One Woman One Vote Festival has presented public programs in partnership with organizations and institutions leading into the 19th’s 100th anniversary. The Festival’s co-directors, producer Bonnie Nelson Schwartz, and writer/media consultant Michon Boston with a founding coalition of women in the media industry launched the festival to amplify the centennial of the 19th amendment and a century of women’s voices in society. 

About Ava DuVernay

Winner of the Emmy, BAFTA and Peabody Awards, Academy Award nominee Ava DuVernay is a director, writer, producer and film distributor. Her directorial work includes the historical feature film SELMA, the criminal justice documentary 13TH, and Disney’s A WRINKLE IN TIME which made her the highest grossing black woman director in American box office history. Based on the infamous case of The Central Park Five, WHEN THEY SEE US recently garnered 16 Primetime Emmy Award nominations, including Outstanding Limited Series and Outstanding Director and Writer for a Limited Series nominations for DuVernay. Currently, she oversees production on the fifth season of her critically-acclaimed TV series QUEEN SUGAR and her upcoming romance anthology CHERISH THE DAY. Winner of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival’s Best Director Prize for her independent film MIDDLE OF NOWHERE, DuVernay continues to amplify the work of people of color and women of all kinds through her multi-platform media company and arts collective ARRAY, named one of Fast Company’s “Most Innovative Companies.” DuVernay sits on the advisory board of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and co-chairs the Prada Diversity Council. She is based in Los Angeles, California.

Photo credit: Koury Angelo