From films and television shows to initiatives that sit at the intersection of the arts and social justice, filmmaker Ava DuVernay has been dedicated to amplifying the voices and stories of marginalized communities and she is taking her efforts further. According to Deadline, DuVernay has joined forces with Google for the creation of a grant centered on empowering underrepresented creatives.
The $500,000 fund—dubbed the Array + Google Feature Film Grant—will financially support recipients as they embark on a journey of creating a full-length feature project. The initiative was cultivated as part of a larger effort by DuVernay’s Array imprint to drive inclusivity within the arts and entertainment space forward. The grant recipients will be selected by an advisory committee comprised of leaders within the indie film industry. DuVernay says she was inspired by her personal experiences as a filmmaker to lead this initiative alongside Google. “Having started my filmmaking journey by self-funding projects, this is a full-circle moment,” she said in a statement, according to the news outlet. “I’m pleased to partner with Google and Array’s grant advisory committee to identify an emerging writer/director to bring their vision to the screen. Inclusive storytelling is at the heart of Array’s mission and we’re proud to also provide access to Array Crew in order to further ensure that the set of the grantee’s film reflects the full array of the world around us.”
News about DuVernay and Google’s collaborative effort comes nearly a year after she launched the Law Enforcement Accountability Project (LEAP) to bring attention to narratives surrounding inhumane and unlawful treatment practiced by police officials. Amid the global pandemic, she started a $250,000 fund for organizations and creatives who are telling powerful stories about underrepresented communities.