Ava DuVernay Is Making A Prince Documentary Series
Ava DuVernay has been reshaping the landscape of Hollywood for years. Just last year, she made history as the first Black woman to be nominated for an Academy Award for “Best Documentary Feature,” thanks to her searing film on prison reform, 13th. This year marked her first big-budget film, A Wrinkle in Time, which made her the first woman of color to direct a live-action movie with a budget over $100 million. Now, she’ll begin work on a project documenting a monumental figure in music history: Prince.
According to Variety, DuVernay is partnering with Netflix on a multi-chapter docu-series about the late icon, whose 2016 death cast a long shadow over the lives of music fans. Prince’s estate has been justifiably litigious in the past, taking great care that any work involving Prince’s legacy has full permission to move forward. It appears DuVernay has sealed this deal with the complete cooperation of the Prince estate, a historic deal which speaks to DuVernay’s place in the industry.
Long Beach, California, native DuVernay has been documenting music history for a decade, beginning with 2008’s This Is the Life. It focused on Los Angeles’ famed Good Life Cafe, the sacred site which helped birth the city’s alternative Hip-Hop scene of the 1990s. Freestyle Fellowship played a central role in the documentary, which also featured interviews with the likes of 2Mex, Abstract Rude, Busdriver, Chali 2na Cut Chemist, Pigeon John and others. In fact, Ms. DuVernay herself was MC Eve, performing frequently at the Good Life. In 2010, she served as director for the television documentary My Mic Sounds Nice: A Truth About Women and Hip Hop.
After news of her upcoming Prince docuseries broke, DuVernay took to Twitter to express her excitement. “Prince was a genius, a joy and a jolt to the senses. He was like no other,” she wrote. “He shattered preconceived notions, smashed boundaries, and shared his heart through his music. The only way I know how to make this film is with love and great care. I’m honored to do so and grateful.”
Variety’s report also says the documentary will cover Prince’s full life. A release date has yet to be announced.