Ava DuVernay with Q-Tip


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BAFTA, Peabody®, and Emmy Award® winning writer-director Ava DuVernay sat down with GRAMMY Award® winning musician Q-Tip of A Tribe Called Quest at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival. They discussed why DuVernay is always shooting, the art of lighting and framing dark-skinned actors, and the importance of finding your tribe.

Audience questions:

  1. Tips for writer’s block?
    1. Follow up: The pressure of being watched?
  2. How do you navigate a male-dominated industry?
  3. Do you know everyone prior to being on set? How do you assemble your team?
  4. Who are the next iconic female voices?

Winner of BAFTA, Peabody® and Emmy Awards®, Academy Award® nominee Ava DuVernay’s directorial work includes the Oscar®-winning civil rights drama Selma, the Oscar®-nominated social justice documentary 13th and the Disney children’s adventure A Wrinkle in Time, which made her the highest-grossing Black woman director in American box office history. In 2019, she created, wrote, produced and directed the Emmy Award®-winning limited series When They See Us. She is currently producing the fifth season of her acclaimed series, Queen Sugar. Winner of the 2012 Sundance Best Director Prize for her second independent film Middle of Nowhere, DuVernay amplifies the work of Black artists, people of color and women of all kinds through her multi-platform arts collective ARRAY.

ARRAY is a multi-platform media company and arts collective based in Los Angeles. Founded in 2012 by filmmaker Ava DuVernay, the company currently operates a trio of branded entertainment entities: ARRAY Releasing, ARRAY Filmworks and ARRAY Creative Campus in partnership with the non-profit cinema and social justice organization ARRAY Alliance. www.arraynow.com

Famously known as co-founder of A Tribe Called Quest, Q-Tip has become one of the most influential Hip Hop figures of all-time, uniquely fusing rap, jazz, and other styles with piercing, socially conscious lyrics. The group released its sixth and final album We Got It From Here...Thank You 4 Your Service in November 2016 to glowing critical acclaim. His atypical approach and appreciation to hip hop as well as other genres has earned Q-Tip success as a solo artist and producer, working with such celebrated artists as the Beastie Boys, Busta Rhymes, J. Dilla, Janet Jackson, Queen Latifah, Pharrell Williams, Mark Ronson and Mary J. Blige. He has most recently collaborated with Solange, Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, Arcade Fire and the Chemical Brothers. Q-Tip’s critically praised solo albums include Amplified, Grammy®-nominated The Renaissance, and Kamaal the Abstract. Q-Tip is currently the host of Apple Music’s Abstract Radio, a weekly Friday show where he digs deep into underground favorites and musical legends. Q-Tip’s artistic innovation and exploration continues through his work as a recording artist, a music producer, a DJ, an actor, a film producer, curator, advocate, and ambassador of Hip Hop Culture. He brings his industry expertise to the Kennedy Center to curate a full season of Hip Hop across disciplines, transforming the performing arts center into a home for Hip Hop Culture and history for years to come.

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