Award-winning filmmaker Ava DuVernay has teamed up with Google to launch a $500,000 grant program aimed at bringing more diverse creatives into the industry.Ava DuVernay has teamed up with Google to launch a $500,000 grant program aimed at bringing more diverse creatives into the industry.
DuVernay’s Array Now has partnered with Google to create The Array + Google Feature Film Grant for aspiring filmmakers from underrepresented communities, Deadline reported. The endowment will aid recipients in creating their first full-length feature film and serve Array and Google’s efforts to highlight the voices within marginalized spaces.
An indie film advisory council will select the recipients who will have their productions “powered by the Array Crew,” a database the When They See Us creator developed to help execs easily locate underrepresented talent in TV and film, according to The Wall Street Journal.
“Having started my filmmaking journey by self-funding projects, this is a full-circle moment,” DuVernay said of the new venture. “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.”
DuVernary has been a strong advocate for social justice and women’s rights and is often included in the ongoing debates centered around diversity in the entertainment industry.
“We’re hearing a lot about diversity,” DuVernay told the ‘New York Times’ in 2016. “I hate that word so, so much. I feel it’s a medicinal word that has no emotional resonance, and this is a really emotional issue. It’s emotional for artists who are women and people of color to have less value placed on our worldview.”
Five years later, and DuVernary is proving that she can put her money where her mouth is. After launching her new recruitment tool back in February, the 13th director is staying true to her mission of creating a more equitable and inclusive community for underrepresented artists.
Google’s partnership with Array follows a fellowship program through The Black List that offers financial and creative support to underrepresented writers.
“We’re honored to help Array showcase talented creatives from underrepresented communities and to add volume to more diverse voices,” said Elle Roth-Brunet, Google Assistant’s entertainment partnerships lead, the producer behind the project. “The Array x Google Feature Film Grant is intrinsically aligned with Google Assistant’s commitment to speak with a diverse set of voices, and connect with more people to help in their everyday lives.”