NEW ORLEANS — Today, the City of New Orleans honored the cast and crew of the hit television series Queen Sugar and its creator, critically-acclaimed filmmaker Ava DuVernay. Marking the series production wrap of Queen Sugar, Mayor LaToya Cantrell proclaimed July 20 “Queen Sugar Day” in the City of New Orleans and bestowed upon DuVernay a Key to the City.
“Since 2016, Queen Sugar has captured the beauty of black families, black love, black history, black land ownership and black culture,” said Mayor Cantrell. “Not only did this series celebrate the hard work and tenacity of African American landowners and business owners of the Greater New Orleans area, but Ms. DuVernay also completely revolutionized the television industry by exclusively hiring women directors for all 88 episodes of the series’ run. The City is grateful to Ms. DuVernay, ARRAY, OWN, Warner Bros. and the entire cast and crew for empowering, uplifting, and amplifying our people’s voices throughout its seven seasons. We are honored to have our city’s rich history recognized on national television and look forward to hosting Ms. DuVernay and the ARRAY team in our city for many more years to come.”
During its six years of production, Queen Sugar has invested in the City of New Orleans by employing local artisans for its crew and hiring local businesses for its production and sets, while featuring the beauty of the Greater New Orleans region on screen. The seventh and final season of the Warner Bros. Television-produced series will debut this September on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN).
Through her Peabody award-winning narrative change collective ARRAY, DuVernay launched ARRAY Crew in 2021. The personnel database is designed to connect below-the-line production crew – focusing on the amplification of women and people of color – with studio executives, department heads and producers.
“Ava DuVernay is a trailblazer who has created a pathway for women and people of color to succeed in an industry that has historically provided limited opportunities for underrepresented people,” said Carroll Morton, Director of Film New Orleans. “The Film Office is proud to have worked with ARRAY Filmworks on Queen Sugar for seven seasons and to be chosen as one of the first cities to participate in the launch of ARRAY Crew. We look forward to future collaborations with ARRAY.”
For the fourth year, New Orleans has maintained its position as the fourth major production hub in the nation. Major film studios continue to choose to film in New Orleans, directly spending $1 billion in 2021 and employing 2,000 local crew members. Filming has taken place in the Greater New Orleans region’s seven film studios, using local film trucking companies, equipment companies and vendors. For more information about the industry contact the New Orleans Film Office.
DuVernay, ARRAY Filmworks, OWN and Warner Bros. TV’s commitment to producing content in New Orleans continues with season two of the television series Cherish the Day.