BET’s Leading Women Defined Honors Ava DuVernay

BET’s Leading Women Defined conference honors filmmaker Ava DuVernay.

If you are the first African-American woman to receive the best director award at the Sundance Film Festival, you’d expect phone calls for opportunities to be numerous. That wasn’t the case for former marketing executive, filmmaker and 2012 Best Director recipient Ava DuVernay, however.

Upon returning to Los Angeles from the festival in Utah, offers were few and far between. But, unlike the lack of recognition she received from Hollywood, all eyes were on the self-taught filmmaker Monday afternoon at BET Networks’ Dorothy Height Luncheon, a part of their annual Leading Women Defined conference, when she received the 2012 Butterfly Award, which highlights entrepreneurs and leaders in the Black community.

“Some people love to read; some people love to sing; I love film,” she told the audience of African-American women executives, lawyers and leaders who gathered for the three-day event.

DuVernay, 39, is behind hits such as the 2008 hip hop documentary This Is the Life and the Hurricane Katrina documentary entitled Faith Through the Storm.


In an heart-felt closing, the filmmaker said she is glad to prove doubters of her career wrong and that she hopes to further advance the success of the Black film industry. 

Stay tuned to for more coverage on the conference.

BET National News - Keep up to date with breaking news stories from around the nation, including headlines from the hip hop and entertainment world.

(Photo: Larry Busacca/Getty Images)

Latest News

Subscribe for BET Updates

Provide your email address to receive our newsletter.

By clicking Subscribe, you confirm that you have read and agree to our Terms of Use and acknowledge our Privacy Policy. You also agree to receive marketing communications, updates, special offers (including partner offers) and other information from BET and the Paramount family of companies. You understand that you can unsubscribe at any time.