Richest CelebritiesDirectors
Net Worth:
$60 Million
Date of Birth:
Aug 24, 1972 (51 years old)
Place of Birth:
Long Beach
Film Director, Publicist, Screenwriter, Film Producer, Filmmaker
United States of America
đŸ’° Compare Ava DuVernay's Net Worth

What Is Ava DuVernay's Net Worth and Salary?

Ava DuVernay is an American director, producer, screenwriter, and former publicist who has a net worth of $60 million. Ava DuVernay is the first black woman to win the Directing Award at the Sundance Film Festival, to earn a Golden Globe nomination for Best Director, and to have a film she directed receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture. Ava wrote, directed, and produced the films "I Will Follow" (2010) and "Middle of Nowhere" (2012) and the documentaries "This is the Life" (2008) and "13th" (2016), and she directed "Selma" (2014) and "A Wrinkle in Time" (2018).

Ava DuVernay created the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) series "Queen Sugar" (2016–present), the Netflix miniseries "When They See Us" (2019), the OWN anthology series "Cherish the Day" (2020–present), the Netflix limited series "Colin in Black & White" (2021), the NBC/Peacock reality series "Home Sweet Home" (2021), and The CW superhero drama "Naomi" (2022–present), and she has executive produced all of these projects as well as directing and/or writing for them. Ava started out as a publicist, and she opened The DuVernay Agency in 1999. In 2017, "Time" magazine included Ava on its list of "The Most Influential People in the World," and in 2020, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences elected her to its board of governors.

Warner Bros. Deal

In November 2018, DuVernay signed a $100 million multi-year exclusive production deal with Warner Bros. Ava and her company Forward Movement will produce TV and movie projects for the studio to compete with Netflix.

Early Life

Ava DuVernay was born Ava Marie DuVernay on August 24, 1972, in Long Beach, California. Her biological father is Joseph Marcel DuVernay III, and she grew up in Lynwood with mother Darlene (an educator), stepfather Murray Maye, and four siblings. During the summers, Ava traveled to her father's childhood home near Selma, Alabama, which influenced the filming of "Selma." DuVernay attended Saint Joseph High School in Lakewood, graduating in 1990, then she majored in African-American studies and English literature at the University of California, Los Angeles.


Originally interested in journalism, Ava didn't pick up a video camera until she was in her early thirties. She interned at CBS News, where she was assigned to assist with coverage of the O.J. Simpson murder trial. DuVernay told "UCLA Magazine" in 2012, "I was one of 10 interns who were dispatched to cover a juror. I was to sit outside the juror's house, look through trash and do all the things I thought were not becoming of a broadcast journalist. I became disenchanted with journalism, so I pivoted to publicity. My first job out of college was at a small studio as a junior publicist." Ava went on to work as a junior publicist at Savoy Pictures and 20th Century Fox before opening The DuVernay Agency in 1999. In 2005, she decided to use $6,000 to make her first short film, "Saturday Night Life," and it was featured on Showtime's "Black Filmmaker Showcase" in February 2007. Next, DuVernay directed and produced the 2007 documentary short "Compton in C Minor," followed by the full-length documentary "This is the Life" in 2008. In 2010, she released the film "I Will Follow," which was inspired by her experience as a caregiver for her aunt, Denise Sexton, and cost $50,000 to make. After "I Will Follow," Ava left her job as a publicist, then she made the 2012 film "Middle of Nowhere," which earned her the Directing Award at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. The Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture recruited DuVernay to make a movie about African-American history, and "August 28: A Day in the Life of a People" premiered at the museum's opening in September 2016.

Ava DuVernay Net Worth


In 2014, Ava directed "Selma," a drama about the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the 1965 Selma to Montgomery march. She also rewrote most of Paul Webb's original screenplay but was not credited for it. The film, which starred David Oyelowo as King, received an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture. DuVernay wrote, directed, and produced the 2016 documentary "13th," which earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary Feature and won a Peabody Award. That year she also created the television drama "Queen Sugar," which is co-executive produced by Oprah Winfrey and has aired more than 75 episodes as of this writing. In 2018, Ava directed "A Wrinkle in Time" for Disney, and it starred Oprah, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, and Michael Peña. The film, which is based on the 1962 Madeleine L'Engle novel of the same name, made DuVernay the first woman of color to helm a live-action movie with a budget of more than $100 million. In 2019, she created the miniseries "When They See Us" about the 1989 Central Park jogger case, and it was nominated for 11 Primetime Emmys. In 2021, Ava created the limited series "Colin in Black & White," which is about Colin Kaepernick's teenage years, and she directed the first episode. In 2022, she began writing and executive producing the superhero drama "Naomi," which she co-created with Jill Blankenship.

Personal Life

In 2015, Ava was named one of Mattel's Sheroes, "female heroes who inspire girls by breaking boundaries and expanding possibilities for women everywhere." The company made a one-of-a-kind Ava DuVernay Barbie that was auctioned off with the proceeds going to charity. After Ava's fans asked Mattel to mass-produce the Barbie, it went on sale in late 2015, and DuVernay announced that the profits would be donated to Color of Change and WITNESS. Ava follows a vegan diet, and she and Benedict Cumberbatch were named PETA's Most Beautiful Vegan Celebrities of 2018.

Awards and Nominations

In 2017, DuVernay earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary Feature for "13th," and she received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Director – Motion Picture for "Selma" in 2015. She has earned six Primetime Emmy nominations, winning Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Special and Outstanding Writing for Nonfiction Programming for "13th" in 2017. Her other nominations were for Outstanding Directing for Nonfiction Programming for "13th" and Outstanding Limited Series, Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series, Movie or a Dramatic Special, and Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, Movie or a Dramatic Special for "When They See Us." Ava also won awards from the BAFTA Awards, Alliance of Women Film Journalists, Awards Circuit Community Awards, Black Reel Awards, Cinema Eye Honors Awards, Critics' Choice Documentary Awards, Humanitas Prize, International Documentary Association, and Women Film Critics Circle Awards for "13th." "When They See Us" earned her awards from the AAFCA TV Honors, Black Reel Awards for Television, Gotham Awards, and Humanitas Prize. For "Selma," DuVernay won awards from the African-American Film Critics Association, Alliance of Women Film Journalists, Americana Film Fest, Black Film Critics Circle Awards, Black Reel Awards, Christopher Awards, Cinema for Peace Awards, GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics, Palm Springs International Film Festival, and Women Film Critics Circle Awards, and she received a Grammy nomination for Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media.

The African-American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) honored Ava with the Innovation Award in 2017, and she earned Best Screenplay awards from AAFCA for "I Will Follow" in 2011 and "Middle of Nowhere" in 2012. In 2013, she won the John Cassavetes Award for "Middle of Nowhere" at the Film Independent Spirit Awards, and in 2014, she earned the Pioneer Award at the Black Film Critics Circle Awards. In 2015, she was named Woman of the Year at the "Elle" Women in Hollywood Awards and won the Dorothy Arzner Directors Award at the Women in Film Crystal Awards, and in 2017, she received the John Schlesinger Britannia Award for Excellence in Directing at the BAFTA/LA Britannia Awards, the Impact Award at the Chicago Independent Film Critics Circle Awards, and the Hollywood Excellence Award at the I See You Awards. DuVernay won the NAACP Image Awards Entertainer of the Year Award, the GLAAD Media Awards Excellence in Media Award, and the PGA Awards Visionary Award in 2018, and in 2019, she received the Tribute Award at the Gotham Awards and the Legacy Award at the Odyssey Awards. In 2020, Ava won the Showmanship Award for Television at the ICG Publicists Awards and the Humanitas Prize Voice for Change Award, and the Alliance of Women Film Journalists presented her with the EDA Female Focus Award for Outstanding Achievement by a Woman in the Film Industry. DuVernay has also won two Black Reel Awards and a Sundance Film Festival award for "Middle of Nowhere," two Hollywood Black Film Festival awards, two Los Angeles Pan African Film Festival awards, and a Toronto ReelWorld Film Festival award for "This Is the Life," and an NAACP Image Award for "Queen Sugar."

Real Estate

In 2017, DuVernay paid $1.85 million for a 3,600 square foot home in the Hollywood Hills. She put the four-bedroom, 5.5-bathroom home on the market for $2.48 million in early 2021, and it sold for $2.06 million a few months later. In 2019, she purchased a 7,380 square foot Los Feliz home from "The O.C." creator Josh Schwartz for $9.8 million.

All net worths are calculated using data drawn from public sources. When provided, we also incorporate private tips and feedback received from the celebrities or their representatives. While we work diligently to ensure that our numbers are as accurate as possible, unless otherwise indicated they are only estimates. We welcome all corrections and feedback using the button below.
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