Creator and Executive Director, Ava DuVernay

Show creator and Executive Director Ava DuVernay had a vision. 

When it came to hiring the crew for Queen Sugar, her requirements were simple. “I wanted people with my sensibility, people who care about the things that I care about.” 

It just so happened, that all of those people were women.  

DuVernay was determined to give more women – especially gay women and women of colour – the chance to share in her experiences, and enhance their skills in the ever-changing television landscape.

She deliberately sought out filmmakers who had inspired her over the years. These directors are said to be among the best independent filmmakers; yet they were struggling to be recognised in an industry dominated by big-budget productions. 

28 episodes in a row, directed solely by women, is no small feat. DuVernay’s decisions were labelled “radical” by some media. However, she says it paid off. 

The set of Queen Sugar has become a talent lab of sorts, and a television trailblazer, with other major U.S. networks following suit. 

Some of the women have also gone on to direct major TV shows such as American Crime, Grey’s Anatomy and Famous in Love

Queen Sugar has already been renewed for a third season, and DuVernay plans to continue in the same fashion. “This is not a trend. This is not a publicity stunt. This is our choice.”