AFI Fest 2022: Ava DuVernay Named Guest Director

The news comes 12 years after DuVernay’s directorial debut, I Will Follow, screened at the festival.

The AFI Fest has found its next artistic guest director. The prestigious role, previously cast by the likes of David Lynch and Pedro Almodóvar, will go to Selma director Ava DuVernay for the 2022 festival repeat.

The festival announced that DuVernay had selected three independent films by women directors to present: Kat Candler’s 2014 Hellion, Aurora Guerrero’s 2012 Mosquita y Mari, and Victoria Mahoney’s 2011 Yelling to the Sky. All three women left on to direct episodes of DuVernay’s OWN series Queen Sugar. DuVernay will also moderate a panel featuring all three of the festival’s directors.

AFI Fest 2022 will take place in Los Angeles from November 2nd to 6th. The Apple documentary “Selena Gomez: My Mind and Me” will open the Hollywood-based festival with films such as “Bardo” and “Guillermo del Toros” Pinocchio”, “Is That Black Enough for You?”, “Living”, ” She Said” and “The Son” have also been announced. “The Fabelmans” close the festival.

“AFI Fest holds a special place in my heart and career. My feature film directorial debut ‘I Will Follow’ premiered at AFI FEST 2010 in Los Angeles,” DuVernay said in a statement announcing the news. “I still remember the feeling of validation and encouragement. It meant so much to me as a first-time director to be seen and hugged. It is therefore a true honor to be invited as Guest Artistic Director. In this position, I have chosen to highlight the role of women directors in independent cinema by sharing the work of three remarkable directors: Kat Candler, Aurora Guerrero and Victoria Mahoney.”

She continued, “This trio of filmmakers made their mark in indie film and, following their television debuts on my series ‘Queen Sugar’, have moved into direct dynamic work in all formats. With this program, I want to set an example of what can happen when women have the opportunity and support that matches our male colleagues. Beautiful things bloom. My thanks go to AFI Fest for agreeing and reinforcing this idea.”

DuVernay’s most recent feature film as a director was the 2018 Disney remake A Wrinkle in Time. In 2022 she directed episodes of the TV series Queen Sugar, DMZ and One Perfect Shot.

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Lindsay Lowe

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