Final season of Ava DuVernay’s ‘Queen Sugar’ to again showcase women directors

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Ava DuVernay [Photo by Danielle Levitt/August Images/Provided]

The award-winning drama series “Queen Sugar,” from creator and executive producer Ava DuVernay, returns to OWN for its seventh and final season at 8 p.m. ET/PT Sept. 6.

When “Queen Sugar” first began production in 2016, DuVernay made a commitment to exclusively hire women as directors, and she kept that promise throughout the entire series run: For seven seasons and 88 episodes, the contemporary drama has been directed only by women filmmakers.

With nearly three dozen filmmakers making their directorial debut on “Queen Sugar,” the series marks a shift in industry hiring standards for women and people of color behind the camera.

The final season welcomes the return of seven directors from previous seasons: Kat Candler, Stacey Muhammad, showrunner Shaz Bennett, Patricia Cardoso, Aurora Guerrero, DeMane Davis and DuVernay.

DuVernay, having directed the pilot in season one, will return to direct the final episode in a full-circle moment, according to a news release.

“Queen Sugar” is produced for OWN by DuVernay’s ARRAY Filmworks and Harpo Films in association with Warner Bros. Television. Executive producers are DuVernay, Oprah Winfrey, Paul Garnes and Shaz Bennett.

The series is based on the book by Natalie Baszile. It follows three siblings who hail from rural Louisiana who inherit an 800-acre sugarcane farm when their father dies.

All previous seasons of “Queen Sugar” are currently available to stream exclusively on Hulu.

Winner of the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Drama Series in both 2017 and 2022, “Queen Sugar” was declared “one of the best hours on television” by Emmy Magazine on the March 2021 cover.

“Queen Sugar” recently was nominated for a 2022 Humanitas Award, and the African-American Film Critics Association has honored the series as the Best TV Drama for four consecutive years, along with the Impact Award and multiple Best Writing awards.

DuVernay was recently named Producer of the Year by The Hollywood Reporter, with the International Emmy Awards announcing it will honor DuVernay with the prestigious Founders Award this fall.



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