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Interview: Ava DuVernay, David Oyelowo, Emayatzy Corinealdi and Omari Hardwick (Middle of Nowhere)

We sat down with director Ava DuVernay and three of the cast members (David Oyelowo, Emayatzy Corinealdi and Omari Hardwick) from her new film, Middle of Nowhere, shortly after its world premiere at Sundance, 2012. A story centered on a woman, Ruby, who changes her life in order to be closer to her husband after he’s been sentenced to 8 years in prison, the film focuses on the stress and heartbreak she endures to keep her life in order. Further testing her already strained relationship with her sometimes antagonistic mother, who she must reach out to for financial support, Ruby realizes that she may be making the wrong sacrifices.

In our interview, we discuss DuVernay’s casting process (she has a knack for seeking out well known and underutilized actresses) between this film and her excellent first feature from last year, I Will Follow, which in turn explores some shared themes with her latest work, including tempered mother/daughter relationships and characters losing those closest to them. The cast and director weigh in on the notion of a new wave black cinema movement in independent American cinema, the dangers of labels, and the importance of diversity in the independent film scene.

Los Angeles based Nicholas Bell is's Chief Film Critic and covers film festivals such as Sundance, Berlin, Cannes and TIFF. He is part of the critic groups on Rotten Tomatoes, The Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS) and GALECA. His top 3 for 2021: France (Bruno Dumont), Passing (Rebecca Hall) and Nightmare Alley (Guillermo Del Toro). He was a jury member at the 2019 Cleveland International Film Festival.

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