Ava Duvernay

TFI and Heineken are proud to announce the winner of the inaugural Heineken Affinity Award. Created to empower and encourage an African-American filmmaker in their film craft, after a public vote from January 15-March 31, Ava DuVernay has been chosen as the winner.

She receives a $20,000 cash prize and year-round support and professional development from TFI for her future projects, which she fully donated to AFFRM.

DuVernay, of Los Angeles, won the Best Director Award at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival for her second feature film, Middle of Nowhere. A writer, director and distributor of independent film, her directorial work also includes the critically-acclaimed dramatic feature I Will Follow, as well as the music documentaries This is the Life and My Mic Sounds Nice. Her upcoming project Part of the Sky, is currently in development. She is also the founder of the African-American Film Festival Releasing Movement (AaFFRM).

In addition to DuVernay, the finalists—Andrew DosunmuCheryl DunyeNelson George,Kahlil JosephVictoria MahoneyTerence NanceAkosua Adoma OwusoYvonne Welbon, and Roger Ross Williams—will each receive a $1,000 grant.