Ben & Jerry’s is lifting the curtain on its newest production – a delicious partnership with Ava DuVernay. Yes, “Queen Sugar” is no longer simply a show by Ava DuVernay, it may be a moniker befitting of the award-winning director, filmmaker, and TV producer herself.
Ben & Jerry’s proudly presents “Lights! Caramel! Action! directed by Ava DuVernay,” featuring an ensemble cast of vanilla ice cream with salted caramel swirls, graham cracker swirls, and gobs of chocolate chip cookie dough. The flavor, in both ice cream and almond milk-based Non-Dairy versions, will begin shipping across the country in January 2023. Quite a foodie feature, for the first foray into flavor-hood, fully directed by Ava who personally curated the flavor creation with the Ben & Jerry’s Flavor Gurus.
Ava’s proceeds of Lights! Caramel! Action! will benefit her non-profit ARRAY Alliance. Through the social impact work of ARRAY Alliance, DuVernay’s mission is to amplify and elevate the work of artists of color and women directors, create inclusive film sets, and provide grants, mentorship, and education for people from underrepresented communities who want to work in the film industry. Founded in 2011 by DuVernay, ARRAY is a Peabody Award-winning multi-platform arts and social impact collective dedicated to narrative change. The organization catalyzes its work through a quartet of mission-driven entities: the film distribution arm ARRAY Releasing, the content company ARRAY Filmworks, the programming and production hub ARRAY Creative Campus, and the non-profit group ARRAY Alliance.
“Ice cream is a simple joy of life. Comfort food that I’ve turned to on many days – making sunny ones brighter and dark ones sweeter,” said DuVernay. “Partnering with Ben & Jerry’s, a company that I’ve long admired for their commitment to social justice, has been a thrill ride. I had the opportunity to work with food scientists to create a flavor with all the ingredients that I love for a cause close to my heart. Beyond being downright delicious, proceeds from Lights! Caramel! Action! will help ARRAY Alliance further its non-profit mission of inclusion and belonging in the film and TV industries. A worthy and delicious endeavor.”
The Lights! Caramel! Action! the flavor is no limited run! It is a full-time addition to Ben & Jerry’s flavor line-up and will be featured across the United States at its franchised Scoop Shops as well as on shelves in pints at an MSRP of $6.49.
While the flavor is quite a mouthful, so is the intent of Ben & Jerry’s on the importance of this partnership. “Framing this up as a new flavor for the first Black woman to be a featured partner on our pints doesn’t do Ava justice,” said Matthew McCarthy, Ben & Jerry’s CEO. “We are humbled by this partnership, impressed by her work sharing not only the struggle but the joy in the justice, and we are inspired by her commitment and vision,” added McCarthy.
DuVernay is the first African-American woman to be nominated for an Academy Award as a director in any feature category. DuVernay is currently writing, directing, and producing the narrative film adaptation of Pulitzer Prize winner Isabel Wilkerson’s bestseller “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontent
Winner of multiple Emmy, BAFTA, NAACP, and Peabody Awards, Ava DuVernay’s feature film directorial work includes the historical drama “Selma,” the criminal justice documentary “13th” and Disney’s “A Wrinkle in Time,” which made her the highest-grossing Black woman director in American box office history. .” Through her company ARRAY Filmworks, she has created and produced the television projects “Queen Sugar,” “Colin in Black and White,” “Red Line,” “DMZ,” “Cherish the Day,” “Naomi,” “Home Sweet Home” and “One Perfect Shot.” Winner of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival’s Best Director Prize for her micro-budget film “Middle of Nowhere,” DuVernay amplifies and distributes independent films for women filmmakers and directors of color through ARRAY Releasing. In addition to ARRAY Filmworks and ARRAY Releasing, her ARRAY organization also includes ARRAY Education, ARRAY Crew, ARRAY Public Programming, the ARRAY Creative Campus, and the Law Enforcement Accountability Program known as LEAP. DuVernay sits on the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, representing the directors’ branch. She is also a Vice-President of the Directors Guild of America and an advisory board member of the American Film Institute.
Ben & Jerry’s is an aspiring social justice company that believes in a greater calling than simply making and selling the world’s best ice cream. The company produces a wide variety of super-premium ice cream and Non-Dairy/vegan desserts using high-quality ingredients and lots of big chunks and swirls. As a certified B Corp, Ben & Jerry’s incorporates its vision of Linked Prosperity into its business practices via values-led sourcing initiatives when purchasing ingredients. Ben & Jerry’s is distributed in over 35 countries in supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, franchised Scoop Shops, and via on-demand delivery services. Ben & Jerry’s, a Vermont corporation and wholly owned subsidiary of Unilever operates its business on a three-part Mission Statement emphasizing product quality, a fair financial return, and addressing issues of social, racial, and environmental injustice around the globe. The Ben & Jerry’s Foundation, guided by Ben & Jerry’s employees, granted $3.7MM in 2021 to support progressive, justice-focused grassroots organizing around the country. For up-to-date information visit benjerry.com.
SOURCE: Ben & Jerry’s