Ava DuVernay’s 13th Documentary Wins Four Emmy Awards

“Our voices are stronger than those that try to silence us.”

September 10, 2017

Last night, Ava DuVernay's Netflix documentary 13th came out on top at the 69th Annual Creative Arts Emmy Awards. The mass incarceration film was nominated for eight awards and won half of them— Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Special, Writing for Nonfiction Programs, Outstanding Motion Design, and Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics for “The Letter to the Free” by Common, Robert Glasper and Karriem Riggins.


During her emotional acceptance speech on stage at L.A.'s Microsoft Theater, DuVernay touched on the political climate and urged the media to use their platforms to bring attention to important issues like criminal justice and prison reform. “When all kinds of people are feeling aggressively demoralized and devalued, people of justice and dignity need to stand up and make our voices heard,” she said. “Our voices are stronger than those that try to silence us.”

Common shared his excitement over winning his first-ever Emmy Award in a series of posts on Instagram. He and DuVernay previously worked together in the 2014 Academy Award-winning film Selma.

RuPaul Charles' RuPaul’s Drag Race also won awards for Outstanding Host for a Reality/Reality-Competition Program and Outstanding Costumes For Variety, Nonfiction Or Reality Programming. View the entire list of winners here. According to Variety, the awards for comedy, drama, and limited television and movie categories continues tonight. All of the high profile nominations will be broadcast live on ABC on September 17 with Stephen Colbert as the host.

13th is currently nominated for an Oscar. Last year, the documentary won a Peabody Award. DuVernay's next project to direct will be a limited series for Netflix based on the Central Park Five with a 2018 release date. Fingers crossed that she'll eventually work on that high in demand spy movie with Rihanna, Lupita Nyong’o, and Issa Rae in the future as well.

Ava DuVernay’s 13th Documentary Wins Four Emmy Awards