Ava DuVernay

Nominated for the Academy Award and winner of four EMMYs as well as BAFTA and Peabody Awards, Ava DuVernay’s 13TH was one of the most critically-acclaimed films of 2016. In 2015, DuVernay directed the historical drama “Selma,” which garnered four Golden Globe nominations and two Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture. Her current work includes the critically-acclaimed drama series “Queen Sugar,” the Disney fantasy epic “A Wrinkle in Time,” and a film adaptation chronicling the notorious Central Park Five case. Winner of the 2012 Sundance Read More

Film Festival’s Best Director prize for her previous feature “Middle of Nowhere,” DuVernay’s early directorial work includes “I Will Follow,” “Venus vs.” and “This is Life.” ‎In 2017, DuVernay was named one of Fortune Magazine’s 50 Greatest World Leaders and TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People.‎ She also distributes and amplifies the work of people of color and women directors through her film collective ARRAY, named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies. DuVernay sits on the boards of Sundance Institute, Cirque du Soleil and Film Independent.

Dawn-Lyen Gardner

Dawn-Lyen Gardner portrays Charley West Bordelon, who relocates to Louisiana following her father’s death to take over the family’s failing sugarcane farm with her two estranged siblings, in OWN’s new drama series “Queen Sugar.”

Los Angeles native Gardner has been acting professionally in television and commercials since the age of nine. Those early efforts landed her guest roles in TV series such as “ER,” “The Sinbad Show,” and a recurring role in “Viper,” Read More

in addition to work in several commercials.

Certain of her calling to act, Gardner went on to pursue formal training at New York’s prestigious Juilliard School. Since her graduation from Juilliard, Gardner has guest-starred in numerous television series, including “The Mysteries of Laura,” “Castle,” “Heroes,” “Cane,” “Summerland,” “Crossing Jordan,” “Married to the Kellys” and, most recently, “Unforgettable,” “I Love You … But I Lied,” and Marvel’s “Luke Cage.” She appeared in the feature film “Art School Confidential,” and will be seen next on the big screen in “The Dunning Man,” currently in production. She has been featured in numerous commercials, and has lent her voice to the acclaimed animated series “Star Wars: The Clone Wars.”

An accomplished theater actor, Gardener has originated roles in a number of world premiere productions, including Richard Greenburg’s “A Naked Girl on the Appian Way,” Nathan Louis Jackson’s “Sticky Traps,” and Rattlestick Theater’s Off-Broadway production of “A Fable.” In 2010, she worked alongside Helen Hunt, Grace Gummer and Lyle Lovett in the Los Angeles production of “Much Ado About Nothing,” and she spent two seasons at the Tony Award-winning Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

Kofi Siriboe

Kofi Siriboe portrays Ralph Angel Bordelon on the critically-acclaimed OWN drama series “Queen Sugar” from visionary director Ava DuVernay and executive producer Oprah Winfrey. With touching emotion, he plays a young man recently released from prison who is facing all the challenges that entails, while raising his 6-year-old son and getting to know his long-estranged siblings once again.

Siriboe began his professional acting career at just six years of age, following Read More

a life-changing chance encounter with an agent at a Beverly Hills shopping mall. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Siriboe is a first-generation American with deep roots in West Africa. His great-grandfather was a highly-respected Ghanaian King of the Juaben/Ashanti tribe. He is the middle child of three siblings; his brothers Kwame Boateng and Kwesi Boakye are also actors.

Siriboe has already amassed quite a resume, quickly building a reputation as a “director’s actor.” This summer Kofi can be seen in the supporting lead role playing Malik in Universal Pictures comedy film “Girls Trip” co-starring Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett-Smith and Regina Hall slated for release this July. Siriboe’s film “Kicks” premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and was released this past September. Earlier in his career, Siriboe played Tyler Miller in the 2014-’15 season of MTV’s popular series “Awkward,” and had roles in the big screen hits “Straight Outta Compton” and “Whiplash.” He has also guest-starred in episodes of “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” “Lincoln Heights” and “Entourage.” Other feature films in which he has appeared include director Fred Durst’s “The Longshots,” “Prom,” and “40.”

When he is not pursuing his passion of acting, he is collaborating with other creatives in the arts, directing, producing, writing songs or modeling for Wilhelmina New York. A budding philanthropist, he is committed to working with children through multiple charitable causes across the globe. Currently he and his brothers have adopted an orphanage for transformation in Accra, Ghana.

Rutina Wesley

Rutina Wesley portrays Nova Bordelon, a journalist, activist and herbal healer who, along with her two estranged siblings, has inherited the family’s failing sugarcane farm, in OWN’s new drama series “Queen Sugar.”

Wesley is well known to television audiences for her starring role as Tara Thornton in the long-running hit series “True Blood.” Born in Las Vegas to Ivery Wheeler and Cassandra Wesley, both performers, Wesley earned a BFA Read More

in Theatre Performance from the University of Evansville (Indiana), and then went on to complete the four-year actor training program at The Juilliard School Drama Division in New York.

Her first big break came when she was cast opposite Bill Nighy in the Broadway production of the David Hare play “The Vertical Hour,” which was followed by her appearance in the Public Theater production of “In Darfur.” Her first big screen appearance came next, in director Ian Rahid’s dance melodrama “How She Move.” Other feature film performances include The Weinstein Company’s “13 Sins” and Screen Gems’ “The Perfect Guy.”

In addition to starring in all 80 episodes of the breakout hit “True Blood,” Wesley has enjoyed recurring roles on the animated series “The Cleveland Show” and the drama “Hannibal.” In addition, she has guest-starred in episodes of “Numb3rs” and “Arrow.”