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  • Writer's pictureKayla Williams

Pioneer for Diversity, Ava DuVernay Launches ARRAY Crew


"Lupita Nyong and Ava DuVernay - 13th" by Peabody Awards is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0


A pioneer for diversity in film, Ava DuVernay, and Warner Bros. Television chairman Peter Roth launched ARRAY Crew, a division of ARRAY Alliance that strives to amplify the stories of underrepresented persons by providing all women and people of color with a myriad of resources and opportunities to have a platform for change.

For those not familiar with Ava DuVernay’s work, she is the founder of ARRAY formerly known as AFFRM an independent distribution company, and an American filmmaker is known for her exceptional documentary 13th (2016), Selma (2014), and becoming the first black woman to win the 2012 Sundance Film Festival award for her second feature Middle of Nowhere (2012). Her career is filled with breaking many barriers in the film industry and has been the first black woman to be nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Director, the first black woman director to have a film nominated for the Academy Award Best Picture, and the first black woman to direct a live-action film that earned $100 million at the U.S. box office.

As the fourth company assembled under the ARRAY banner, ARRAY Crew’s main focus is to continue to highlight women, people of color and other underrepresented film and television professionals for the purpose of creating more opportunities for them.

“We’ve ideated, incubated, and executed the idea of ARRAY Crew over two years with one mission in mind: to help productions hire qualified crew candidates too often underrepresented, overlooked, and unknown. Our goal is simply to amplify more professionals in an effort to build an inclusive film and television crews…The overwhelming support of the studios and streamers has bolstered our belief that our industry can become a more balanced place to work for more kinds and cultures of people, resulting in stronger and more dynamic content for viewers and moviegoers.”

This announcement was made in an interview with the Los Angeles Times, where DuVernay and Roth made clear that Array Crew is in the soft launch stage but has already gained the interest of major companies like Sony, Netflix, and Disney to invest in the project but that is not all. Their backers include Amazon Studios, Apple TV+, FOX Entertainment, NBCUniversal, Paramount Studios, ViacomCBS as well.


Over 70 productions from these partners are currently utilizing the database connecting to over 3,000 qualified BTL (below-the-line) members. These partners will have the ability to search and view profiles from a diverse group of talent to hopefully bridge the hiring gap below-the-line. 500+ job titles can be found on the database spanning over 45 departments. Jobs like lighting directors, production designers, costume designers, sound technicians, hairstylists, VFX designers, foley artists, ADR mixers, animal trainers, food stylists, choreographers, scenic painters, fabric buyers, stitchers, graphic designers, and SFX makeup all are accessible on the platform.

COVID didn’t stop the launch of this brilliant initiative to make right an issue that affects the underrepresented but added fuel to the passion DuVernay and Roth share in creating an inclusive industry.

“This is the time,” DuVernay said. And it indeed is.


Resources:

“Ava Duvernay And Peter Roth Announce Array Crew Database — Variety”. Variety.Com, 2021, https://variety.com/2020/film/news/ava-duvernay-peter-roth-array-crew-database-below-the-line-diversity-1234876236/. Accessed 27 Feb 2021.

“Array Now”. Array Now, 2021, http://www.arraynow.com/. Accessed 27 Feb 2021.

“Ava Duvernay Launches ARRAY Crew, Promoting Below-The-Line Diversity — Variety”. Variety.Com, 2021, https://variety.com/2021/artisans/news/ava-duvernay-array-crew-launch-1234910383/#!. Accessed 27 Feb 2021.

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