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Ava DuVernay Wins Independent Spirit Award for 'Middle of Nowhere'

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Ava DuVernay attends the 2013 Film Independent Spirit Awards after-party at The Bungalow.
Ava DuVernay, director of Middle of Nowhere, attends the 2013 Film Independent Spirit Awards after-party at The Bungalow. Her film won the John Cassavetes Award for Films Made Under $500,000.
Photo Credit: Amanda Edwards/WireImage

Filmmaker Ava DuVernay has another reason to celebrate this year — winning the John Cassavetes Award last night at the Independent Spirit Awards for her film Middle of Nowhere. Last year, DuVernay made history with Middle of Nowhere at the Sundance Film Festival, becoming the first African-American woman to take home the U.S. Directing Award.

The John Cassavetes Award goes to the best film of the year made for less than $500,000. DuVernay wrote, directed and produced the drama, which tells the story of a young nurse (played by actress Emayatzy Corinealdi) who puts her life and career on hold due to her husband's incarceration.

"I'm still on a high from celebrating our film, and indie film in general yesterday," DuVernay tweeted today. The filmmaker also received an outpour of congratulatory tweets from industry friend, including Black Women in Hollywood honoree Mara Brock Akil, who tweeted, "#soproud!" 

PHOTO GALLERIES: Live from ESSENCE's Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon