Ava DuVernay is continuing her fruitful collaboration with Netflix.
DuVernay is an award-winning director and was the first African American woman to be nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Director, and also the first African American female director to earn an Academy Award nominee for Best Picture.
In 2017, she earned a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature for her film 13th. Recently she won the award for the Best Limited Series at the 25th Critics’ Choice Awards in Santa Monica this past Sunday for When They See Us.
Her new effort for Netflix. They’ve Gotta Have Us, was announced today and will include interviews with Diahann Carroll, John Singleton, Barry Jenkins, Kasi Lemmons, John Boyega, Harry Belafonte, Robert Townsend, and David Oyelowo.
They’ve Gotta Have Us is described as a “dynamic chronicle of art, activism and race in Black Cinema featuring in-depth interviews with some of Hollywood’s most iconic voices.”
The project was picked up by ARRAY Releasing as the company’s first series acquisition, and they will premiere the docuseries on Netflix on Feb 5, 2020.
ARRAY founder Ava DuVernay made the announcement today during TCA, which is a two-week-long meeting of TV critics, networks, and streamers.
They’ve Gotta Have Us was conceived, produced, and directed by Simon Frederick, a UK-based self-taught artist, photographer, filmmaker and broadcaster.
In the ARRAY release, the lineup and purpose was outlined:
The series features revealing interviews with many barrier-breaking filmmakers and stars, including Diahann Carroll, John Singleton, Kasi Lemmons, John Boyega, Harry Belafonte, Robert Townsend, David Oyelowo, Whoopi Goldberg, Laurence Fishburne, Kasi Lemmons and Barry Jenkins. The series also includes clips from and commentary about such seminal films as Carmen Jones, Claudine, Lilies of the Field, Do The Right Thing, Boyz in the Hood, Hollywood Shuffle, Black Panther and Moonlight.
ARRAY President Tilane Jones said:
“As a company whose mission is to amplify the voices of people of color, They’ve Gotta Have Us speaks directly to our highest ideas of inclusion, cultural context and community. Not only are we introducing an exciting artist like Simon Frederick to a new audience, but his project shares the stories of Black Cinema’s most influential filmmakers and actors.”
DuVernay’s speech at the recent Critics’ Choice Awards made news as well. She called for social action and praised Netflix, saying: “[thanks to] Our great champions at Netflix who let a black woman do her thing.”
In her speech at the star-studded event, she said:
“Cases like this are happening all around the world, in this country, most specifically on our watch. People who are poor and innocent are behind bars while the rich and guilty walk free and gain power. The late poet Audre Lorde told us exactly what to do at times like this. She said when we speak, we are afraid our words will not be heard, or welcomed. But when we are silent we are still afraid. So it is better to speak.”
She also thanked the CCA critics for honoring When They See Us during her acceptance speech: “Thank you to the critics for finally letting us take the stage,” Duvernay said after receiving a standing ovation.
The Critics’ Choice win comes after When They See Us was completely shut out of the Golden Globes and took two of the 16 awards for at the 2019 Emmys.
Founded in 2010 by Ava DuVernay, ARRAY is a film collective dedicated to the amplification of images by people of color and women directors.
They Gotta Have Us premieres February 5, 2020, on Netflix.