Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Congrats to award-winning director and filmmaker Ava DuVernay! She is expanding her TV and film empire through a new first-look deal with Oprah Winfrey‘s Harpo Films. The partnership was announced earlier this week and will include new grounds for her in television and digital media.

According to the press release, the first collaboration is DuVernay’s recently announced limited drama series “Central Park Five” for Netflix from Participant Media, Tribeca Productions and Harpo Films.  In addition to the partnership, the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) is renewing the original drama series “Queen Sugar” for a third season. The Wednesday night program is currently averaging 2.4 million viewers and is consistently one of the most talked-about shows on social media.

“I’m so proud of Ava and her ability as a filmmaker to challenge the status quo and push for inclusiveness on screen and behind the camera. I love, love, love the work we have been able to create so far. I am looking forward to developing many more meaningful projects together,” said Winfrey, CEO, OWN and Harpo Films.

“Queen Sugar” fans will also see a few new faces later on this season including Michael Michele and Roger Guenveur Smith, who will portray Darla’s (Bianca Lawson) estranged parents. Veteran actress Beverly Todd will also star as Mother Olivia Brown, a much beloved and respected matriarchal activist residing in the 9th Ward.

Also joining the “Queen Sugar” team as directors are Garrett Bradley, Liesl TommyChristina Voros and ATL’s own Julie Dash.

RC will keep you posted as all of this continues to develop.

Photo Credits: and EBONY