Straight Outta Compton: Ava Duvernay and Venus Williams Collaborate on “Venus, Vs.”

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I’m really trying to do a very specific thing. I want to tell a very particular story with Black people and Black women at the center. Everything I do is related back to that mission. For me, all this stuff has my name on it. Film is forever.We’re still watching films from the early part of the last century so I take these images really seriously. They last for a long time.  When Prada approaches me and says ‘Do you want to make something’ with us?’ Heck yeah. Oh, you’ve never had Black women before, well, I’m going to use six. (Laughs). In my own independent work it’s about illuminating who we are in all of our complexity and nuance.

AFFRM – The African American Film Festival Releasing Movement is your baby as well. What is that about?

It’s regular black folks putting out films by black filmmakers that you might not see otherwise because the studios are not offering this to you. It’s a grass roots network, it’s our sixth film and we’re almost three years in. Our next film is “Big Words”  It was written by Neil Drumming, a former reporter at “Entertainment Weekly.” We’ll be releasing it in L.A. and New York on July 19th and then it goes wider after that. These are movies you’ll never see in theaters otherwise.

What’s next for you?

I’m doing a couple of really exciting things and I feel so wack that I can’t tell you what they are. (Laughs.) All I’ll say is that it’s a good time.

(Photo: Facebook)

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