Ava Duvernay, at the age of 34, set out on a new venture.  She didn’t wait for a path to be cleared or a door to be opened but instead she created her own door.  The Sundance Award winning film director and writer of “Middle of Nowhere” expresses “I just wanted to build my own house and my own door”.  The film opened up in select theaters and cities on Oct. 12th.


Ruby (Emayatzy Corinealdi) puts her studies and dreams on hold when her husband (Omari Hardwick) is sentenced to 8 years in prison.  Her heart desires to remain faithful but a chance encounter with an attractive bus driver (David Oyelowo) proves the task more difficult than imagined.

I was fortunate to become familiar with the film and director this year at the Blogalicious ’12 Conference in Las Vegas, NV.  Ava Duvernay introduced the trailer to a room of eager bloggers and engaged in a Q & A discussion.  It was in that moment that I was inspired by the drive, dedication and fearless approach Duvernay took on to make this film a reality.  Since the films release, I have been pushing my friends and family to go see it.  I even considered traveling to Southern California so that I could witness this film on the big screen.  I am so excited that it will in fact be showing this weekend here in Las Vegas, NV starting on Friday, Nov 2nd at the Suncoast.  If you are in the Las Vegas area, I hope you will join me.

Ava Duvernay didn’t just introduce me to her film but she inspired me to go after a dream.

3 Lessons Taught by Ava Duvernay – The Untraditional School:

  1. Create Your Own Classroom – Duvernay didn’t attend film school but she utilized the opportunities she was afforded to become a student of her craft.  I am experiencing a similar transition in careers and have acquired many teachers, who may not even be aware, to gain the knowledge necessary to be successful.
  2. Tell the Story How You See It – She did not just sit back and complain about the portrayals of African Americans in film.  She set out to change them.  When I wrote my first memoir, Sunday Mourning, I realized I was the only one who could tell my story.
  3. Create Your Own Door – Opportunity surrounds us daily in the form of an idea, a person or even by way of disappointment.  What we create from them is completely up to us.  After sitting through the Q & A discussion with Ava Duvernay, I was inspired to ask more questions.  With no reluctance or hesitation, I asked Ava for a moment of her time.  I am also approaching 34 (January 11th) and career change at my age can be intimidating.  She freely gave suggestions and opened a possible door of opportunity for me to become a student in her classroom.  But that is a story to be continued…

Make plans this weekend to attend a showing of this film in your city!