WEEK IN WOMEN: Ava DuVernay to receive Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize – Brandy McDonnell reports

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The Gish Prize Trust has announced that writer, producer, director, and social justice activist Ava DuVernay has been selected to receive the 27th annual Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize in recognition of her ongoing achievements in inspiring change through the power of film and television.

She is the first woman filmmaker and fourth filmmaker overall – after Ingmar Bergman, Robert Redford and Spike Lee – to receive the prize, established in 1994 through the will of legendary screen and stage actress Lillian Gish, known as the First Lady of Cinema.

One of the most prestigious honors given to artists in the United States, the Gish Prize also bears one of the largest cash awards, currently valued at approximately $250,000, according to a news release.

The Gish Prize is given each year to a highly accomplished artist from any discipline who has pushed the boundaries of an art form, contributed to social change and paved the way for the next generation. The selection committee for the 2020 Gish Prize chose DuVernay from nearly 60 outstanding finalists in the fields of visual and performing arts, literature and arts administration. Continue reading on THE WEEK IN WOMEN

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Brandy McDonnell

Brandy McDonnell

Brandy McDonnell writes features and reviews movies, music, events and the arts for The Oklahoman, Oklahoma's statewide newspaper, and NewsOK.com, the state's largest news Web site. Raised on a farm near Lindsay, Okla., she started her journalism career in seventh grade, when she was elected reporter for her school's 4-H Club. Taking her duties seriously, she began submitting stories to The Lindsay News, and worked for the local weekly through high school. She attended Oklahoma State University, where she worked for The Daily O'Collegian and earned her journalism degree with honors. She worked for three years at small Oklahoma dailies The Edmond Sun and Shawnee News-Star. In 2002, she joined The Oklahoman as a features reporter, writing about movies, the arts, events, families and nonprofits. She moved to The Oklahoman's entertainment desk in 2007. In 2004, she won a prestigious Journalism Fellowship in Child & Family Policy from the University of Maryland's Philip Merrill College of Journalism. Along with her membership in AWFJ, she also is a founding member of the Oklahoma Film Critics Circle. Brandy writes The Week In Women blog for AWFJ.org.