(*Disclosure-I was invited to an all-expense paid trip to Los Angeles, courtesy of Disney, to attend the #WrinkleInTimeEvent & #ABCTVEvent in exchange for my coverage. No other compensation was provided. All views shared are completely my own.)
Ava DuVernay is the director for Disney’s new movie A Wrinkle In Time. I had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing Ava last month while I was on the press junket for Disney’s A Wrinkle In Time movie.
Change for Kids
When Ava walks into a room, you feel her sense of happiness and humbleness, and you can tell that she loves to live life to the fullest every day.
This is the first time Ava has directed a film that was specifically geared towards kids. One of the questions that was asked to her during our interview was, “The film was made for children. Can you talk about how you honored that intention on set?” Her response “Yeah, I just really wanted to make a film for kids right now. I don’t have children. I don’t have children by choice. I always said that my films are my children. You know, I put my blood into them. It’s really what has my name on it. It’s what I’ll leave behind in the world and so to be able to make something specifically for kids today, uh, something that I hope endures for kids, you know, for a long time to come, was very emotional to me. So it was important that, you know, that we approached the story in a way that we were always thinking of young people. But then also with the young people that we had on set, making sure that they felt safe, included, and that their voices were being heard because I was really listening to them a lot about what’s cool, what do kids want to see, you know. What they said surprised me.”
As a parent, it is very important to me that my kids watch movies or television shows that have meaning. Oftentimes we see films where kids are asked to grow up too early, they cuss, they kill, or they disrespect their parents. Kids are creatures of habit. When they see something, it get ingrained in their mind and they think that it’s ok, so I loved that Ava is interested and invested in what our kids are seeing on screen, and most importantly that she is listening to them.
My husband and I work with teenagers on a weekly basis, and one of the topics that often comes up is that they feel that no one listens to them, especially their parents. They feel like they have no voice. This is something we see in the film with Meg. She feels alone and has no one to turn to. I love the way Ava is able to make real situations come to life on screen, so that we as parents and a society can have these open discussions with our kids.
Change for Women And Diversity
I have to admit I had never heard of the name Ava DuVernay until someone asked me “Have you seen Selma?” I was like “Yes! That was such an impactful film!” They said “That was directed by Ava DuVernay!” After doing some research and watching some of Ava’s work, to me she is exactly what we need during this time in our society. All of her films have meaning to them. “13th” which is one of my favorite documentaries (you can watch on Netflix) will not only leave you in tears, but it will open your eyes to what some of our family and even friends have had to endure and keep enduring.
“Selma” is another impactful film that if you have not seen it, I recommend that you do. We live in a society where important matters are swept under the rug in hopes that we won’t have to speak about them until the time comes that we must. I like that Ava keeps bringing these issues to light, so that we all have the opportunity to address them. She is doing it in a way to impact the whole world by bringing these stories to the big screen.
While I do not have daughters, as a woman, I have a feeling of hope and empowerment from the fact that Ava is the first African-American female director to produce a film with a budget of over $100 million dollars. As a Hispanic woman, I have had to overcome obstacles myself. Even today in the 21st century. You would think these obstacles for women of different races and colors would be non-existent today, but unfortunately that is not the case.
With Ava casting a diverse background of ethnicities, the film is even more important for young kids everywhere. We get to see multicultural actors portrayed in this amazing film. This film gives hope that all kids will watch and know that they too could tell a story, and that their film could make on impact on their futures as well.
Change for Adults And Society
I had the opportunity to watch A Wrinkle In Time twice, and both times I was impressed with every single detail Ava put into the film. I was consumed by the story because we have all been through similar situations; we have all dealt with darkness. Ava wants the world to change with A Wrinkle In Time.
When she was asked how she would change the world, she said “I really, I really want it to be a seed that blossoms into something beautiful in young people about the way that we treat each other and the way that we see ourselves, and the way that we’re seen and so that’s really what I’m hoping. I mean movies have the power to do that. You know, movies have the power to do things that politics doesn’t even do. You know, it reminds me of the time, you know, when kids who had HIV would swim in a pool and they’d drain the pool ‘cause people didn’t even understand what that was, and it wasn’t CDC reports or politicians that changed people’s minds about that. It was images, stories.
It was Philadelphia. It was Angles in America, you know, the play. You know, it was stories of human beings going through it that made people think oh, okay, I don’t have to be afraid of this. And so stories are powerful and so I believe in this story. I believe in this story to be able to plant seeds with young people at this time. There’s a lot of division and darkness in the world. To be able to say you could be a light and that if your individual light shines, you know. Oprah always says it’s easier for one light to illuminate a dark room. So if we were the darkness in this room and someone just turned on one candle there would be light in the air. But it’s really hard for light to drown out– darkness to drown out light.
Like I said one candle could light up this whole room, right? And so the idea that we could each be that light and if there were more of us to think that way, if we start with young people now, like 13th. Part of what I want to do with that documentary is understand how the system works now. If we all really understand it then maybe we can do something about t. It’s like if you could say to kids, if you could understand that you alone, you alone can make a difference just in your world. You don’t have to be Gandhi. You don’t have to be King.
In your day, when you go to school, you know, when you see a kid being bullied, you know, and you don’t talk about people and you behave the right way and you grow up to be an empathetic, whole hearted person in the world – you have to start right now. That doesn’t change. You know, we don’t change that much. You know, Mrs. Whatsit says in the film “you know, I’m trying but they’re human and very limited.” It’s like it’s real, you know what I mean. You know, like all of you, I could see it in your eyes. It’s like I could see the girls in you that were, you know, that was something in you. There are some adults you can still see that light in and some you just can’t – where it’s gone.”
Thank you Ava! Your words are inspiring and so are your films. I am glad that your legacy will live on to be something my kids, grandkids, and even great grandkids will be able watch one day. My hope is that on your Oscar or Hollywood star, it will say Ava DuVernay – Advocate of Change.
To learn more about Ava DuVernay and the films she has directed visit http://www.avaduvernay.com/
A Wrinkle In Time Hits theaters today March 9th, 2018 #WrinkleInTime #WrinkleInTimeEvent
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