Ava DuVernay is a celebrated director known for her poignant storytelling and powerful visual language. Throughout her career, she has tackled important social issues and given a voice to underrepresented communities through her films and documentaries.

From Selma to The 13th, her work has been recognized with critical acclaim and numerous awards.

As a director, there are many lessons we can learn from her approach to filmmaking, from attention to detail to collaboration with her cast and crew.

In this article, we will explore some of the directing lessons we can glean from Ava DuVernay's films, and how we can apply them to our own work to create impactful and authentic stories.

Let's dive in. 

Selma_2'Selma'Credit: Paramount Pictures

7 Directing Lessons From Ava Duvernay Films

DuVernay is an accomplished filmmaker who has directed several critically acclaimed films and documentaries. Her work often explores themes of race, identity, and social justice. Here are some directing lessons we can learn from her films:

  1. Authenticity is key: DuVernay's films often feature characters and stories that are authentic and relatable. As a director, it's important to create a world that feels authentic to your characters and their experiences.

  2. Use visuals to convey emotion: DuVernay is known for using visuals to convey the emotions of her characters. Whether it's through close-ups or long shots, she is able to evoke powerful emotions in the audience through her use of imagery.

  3. Attention to detail: DuVernay is known for her attention to detail, and her films reflect that. As a director, it's important to pay attention to every detail, from the costumes to the lighting, in order to create a cohesive and compelling story.

  4. Collaboration is key: DuVernay has a reputation for being a collaborative director, and she often works closely with her actors and crew to bring her vision to life. It's important to create a collaborative environment on set in order to bring out the best in your team.

  5. Make bold choices: DuVernay is known for taking risks and making bold choices in her films. As a director, it's important to be willing to take risks and make bold choices in order to create something unique and memorable.

  6. Use music to set the tone: Music is an important element in DuVernay's films, and she uses it to set the tone and create an emotional connection with the audience. As a director, it's important to choose the right music to enhance the emotional impact of your film.

  7. Highlight the voices of underrepresented communities: DuVernay's films often center around underrepresented communities and highlight their stories. As a director, it's important to use your platform to amplify the voices of those who are often marginalized or ignored in mainstream media. 

7 directing lesson to learn from Ava DuVernayAva DuVernay and Storm Reid on set for 'A Wrinkle in Time'Credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Summing Up Directing Lessons From Ava Duvernay Films

Ava DuVernay's films offer a wealth of directing lessons that can be applied to a range of projects. From her attention to authenticity and detail to her willingness to make bold choices, her approach to filmmaking has earned her critical acclaim and the admiration of audiences around the world.

By studying her work, we can learn how to create powerful, emotionally resonant stories that have a lasting impact on our audiences. So whether you're just starting out in your directing career or looking to take your work to the next level, there are many lessons to be learned from the films of Ava DuVernay.

Let me know what you think in the comments.