Girl Power: Top Ten Behind-the-Scenes Power Players

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  • Oprah Winfrey
  • Gina Prince-Bythewood
  • Kasi Lemmons
  • Ava DuVernay
  • Debra Lee
  • Mara Brock Akil, Debra Lee
  • Mara Brock Akil
  • Shonda Rhimes
  • Cheryl Boone Isaacs
  • Queen Latifah
  • Jada Pinkett Smith

Ava DuVernay

The Middle of Nowhere filmmaker made the difficult transition from Hollywood publicist to darling of independent cinema, refusing to give up on her dream of telling Black stories that had been routinely ignored by filmmakers. In 2013, her tenacity paid off. Ava DuVernay was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Sundance Institute, putting her squarely in the seat of power when it comes to art house films. We have no doubt she'll use her position to open doors for even more diverse filmmakers with something to say.

(Photo: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

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