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AVADuvernayPioneering film-maker Ava Duvernay (pictured) has won an Independent Spirit Awards for her poignant and powerful drama Middle of Nowhere.

The film took home the John Cassavetes Award for Under $500,000.

As previously reported by NewsOne, Nowhere is a compelling drama that chronicles a woman’s (Emayatzy Corinealdi, Young & The Restless) separation from her incarcerated husband (Omari Hardwick, I Will Follow) and her intense journey to reconcile her marriage with her identity.

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This is Duvernay’s second feature film. Her first, I Will Follow, debuted on March 11, 2011, to stellar reviews. The groundbreaking film-maker believes that her work is resounding with Black audiences who are thirsty for a more comprehensive view of Black life than is currently embraced in film:

Black people loving and losing is something we don’t see enough of. We’re always in these heightened situations like something big is happening, something funny or something violent. And you know what? Sometimes we die of breast cancer or a broken heart. Things happen that are just not being explored cinematically. It’s time we reinvigorated that type of film.

The Spirit Awards air Feb. 23 on IFC at 10 p.m. eastern.

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