Ava DuVernay

Source: Courtesy / ARRAY

The 39th Annual Artios Awards will take place on Thursday, March 7th in Los Angeles. First held in 1985, the annual awards celebration honors the contributions of casting professionals in more than 20 different categories encompassing film, television (scripted and unscripted), commercials and theatre. Special honorees are selected for their contributions to the craft. Nominees and winners are voted on by members of the Casting Society of America (CSA). Last week (January 4th), CSA announced that acclaimed writer, director and producer Ava Duvernay will be presented with the Lynn Stalmaster Award for career achievement at the event.

“Ava DuVernay is a visionary storyteller who has staunchly championed casting professionals and the art of casting throughout her impactful career,” said Destiny Lilly, CSA President. “Her passion for inclusive and progressive casting throughout her career has catapulted careers and made her a leader in the industry. We are thrilled to honor her with the Lynn Stalmaster Award at this year’s ceremony.”

“In my film Origin, the process of casting became the primary brushstroke on the canvas. Working with my casting director Aisha Coley to surround our leading lady Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor was a joy and a thrill. Each of the actors in the Origin ensemble are stellar in their experience, energy, intellect and enthusiasm,” said Ava DuVernay. “They are the latest in a series of extraordinary casts that I’ve had the great honor of guiding over the years. To be recognized for those efforts by this esteemed organization is a true gift for which I’m abundantly grateful.”<

In addition to her current feature film Origin, DuVernay’s feature work includes the Academy Award-winning historical drama SELMA; the Academy Award-nominated criminal justice documentary 13th; the Sundance Best Director Award win for her micro-budgeted romance Middle Of Nowhere and Disney’s A Wrinkle In Time, which made her the highest-grossing Black woman director in American box office history. In 2019, her four-part television series When They See Us was honored with 16 Emmy nominations. DuVernay’s critically acclaimed TV series Queen Sugar is the longest-running Black family drama series by a Black woman creator in American television history. She amplifies films by people of color and women of all kinds through her non-profit narrative change collective ARRAY, which is the winner of the Peabody Institutional Award. The filmmaker sits on the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, representing the director’s branch. She is a Vice President of the Directors Guild of America and an advisory board member of the American Film Institute. DuVernay has previously served on the juries of Cannes Film Festival and Mumbai Film Festival.Huge shout out to Ava Duvernay on the honor! CSA previously announced the television and theater nominees, which you can check out here. Slide in the comments and let us know who you think will take home victories on March 7th!


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