DuVernay will be presented the award at the 29th Annual Producers Guild Awards on Jan. 20 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. The award recognizes producers for “their unique or uplifting contributions to our culture through inspiring storytelling or performance.”
The PGA said DuVernay is being honored for her work in creating topical films and television shows focusing on important social issues, such as “13th,” the documentary about race in America for which she earned two Emmys and an Academy Award nomination, as well as her series “Queen Sugar.” In 2010, she founded Array, a non-profit collective for distribution and amplification of films by people of color and female filmmakers.
DuVernay was the first African-American female director to have a film nominated for best picture at the Academy Awards with 2014’s “Selma” and the first to win the best director prize at the Sundance Film Festival for 2012’s “Middle of Nowhere.” Her upcoming film, “A Wrinkle in Time,” makes her the first African-American woman to helm a film budgeted at more than $100 million.
Producers Guild Awards Chairs Donald De Line and Amy Pascal said, “The emergence of Ava DuVernay as a producer and filmmaker has been one of the great developments of the past several years. Whether in scripted features, television, or documentaries, her unique voice, skill, and passion have inspired countless audiences throughout our country and around the world. She is, by any standard, a visionary storyteller, and we are excited to be honoring her as such in 2018.”
Previous honorees include Annapurna Pictures founder Megan Ellison; Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, and Jeremy Kleiner’s Plan B Entertainment; Illumination Entertainment’s Chris Meledandri; producer Laura Ziskin; and Participant Media’s Jeff Skoll.