Twitter was all-abuzz over Ava DuVernay’s SXSW keynote address, in which she impressed upon the festival audience a familiar message of self-agency and empowerment – familiar because that’s very much in keeping with how she approaches her own life and career. And if you’ve been following her journey since many of us were first introduced to her – when she launched AFFRM a few years ago – you’d already know this.
During her SXSW speech, she declared to the crowd that she had enjoyed “the most awesome f—ing year,” despite the controversy that followed “Selma” after its release. And, from the outside looking in, it does appear that it has indeed been one hell of a year for the director, who marches on seemingly resolutely.
Full of quotables, the roughly hour-long keynote address (which includes a 20-minute Q&A) is embedded below. Of note, I’m sure many of you will be thrilled to hear her share her desire to bring Octavia Butler’s “Kindred” to the big screen, if she were granted the rights. As I mentioned on Twitter, now that she’s made her interest public, I wouldn’t at all be surprised if her wish is granted. “Kindred” is a novel that’s been optioned a number of times over the years, since it was first published in 1979, but funding was the usual hurdle each optioner couldn’t get over. But if anyone is in any position today to break through that wall, it’s probably Ms DuVernay.
There was of course a lot more to her speech than that. So I’ll say no more, and just present it to you below: