Oprah Winfrey Celebrates Ava DuVernay's 50th Birthday With Lavish 3-Day Bash

Winfrey gathered DuVernay's friends and family for a three-day celebration in Maui to ring in her milestone birthday.

Never let it be said that Oprah Winfrey doesn't know how to pull off a birthday celebration! The media mogul recently took to Instagram to share a behind-the-scenes look at the lavish, three-day blowout she hosted in honor of Ava DuVernay's 50th birthday. 

The duo has been close friends for almost 10 years and have worked together on numerous projects throughout the decade, such as Selma, Disney's A Wrinkle in Time and OWN's Queen Sugar, for which they both serve as executive producers. 

In a video posted to her page, the 68-year-old surprises DuVernay with a tall bouquet of fresh-picked sunflowers from her garden. Winfrey reminisces on their first meeting in the caption and credited actor David Oyelowo for introducing her to the director through her indie film, Middle of Nowhere.

"I googled who directed the movie because I had not heard of Ava DuVernay at the time. There was this beautiful photograph of this lovely Black woman who was wearing glasses just like me. I thought, I want to be her friend!" she wrote. "And here we are, almost a decade into our friendship and bringing in @ava’s 50th year on planet Earth. In honor of this life event, we gathered her family and friends and celebrated in Hawaii last week. This is how we kicked off her birthday -- stay tuned for more."

A video on the Oprah Daily Instagram page gave a brief look at the kickoff event of the "three-day extravaganza hosted by the hostess with the mostest," as DuVernay aptly put it. 

"I ask God, 'What did I do to deserve this gathering of people coming from all the places that you did to be with me on these days? And what did I do to deserve a friend who'd create this moment for us all?'" the award-winning filmmaker reflected, addressing the crowd of her close friends and family, which included stars such as Colman Domingo, Niecy Nash and Gayle King.

"I don't know what I did, but maybe he'll tell me. I'm going to be listening, and I'll be thanking you all throughout the time here, and thanking you forever for this," she concluded.

DuVernay turned 50 on Aug. 24. On her birthday, the Colin in Black and White executive producer shared a message on her page alongside a photo of herself as a baby, writing, "This little peanut turns 50 today. Sometimes I look at photos of myself when I was a child and wonder what was on my mind at the time. I think I know. I just wanted to be happy."

"Not much has changed. I am happy. Deeply. But, the happiness isn't as advertised. It's not always smiles and butterflies and French fries with Thousand Island dressing. It's something else," she continued. "It's as I breath. Right there. Not outside of me. Inside. Intimate. Isn't it a wonder - all of those sunny days, heartaches, laughs, failures, wins, triumphs, disappointments, discoveries and joys add up each day for us all. Like a glorious math. It all matters. It all goes in the mix. For you. For me as a little peanut 'til right now." 

"This thing called Life is a rowdy, dazzling miracle. There's a prize enfolded in every breath. Right there. Intimate and inside. Waiting for us to discover it. And call it happiness," she concluded.

The director also posted to share her gratitude for Winfrey's bash on her Instagram page, sharing series of photos from her birthday celebration in Maui. Calling the week "a time that I'll long remember and hold close, to warm me," DuVernay thanked Winfrey for "this friendship beyond words." 

In a second post she added, "I’ve never felt so happy and free at the same time. Thank you to my nearest and dearest for celebrating 50 with me. Courtesy of my loved one and the hostess with the mostest, @oprah. You each blanketed me with your joy and your kindness and your love and it felt like nothing I’ve ever experienced. Grateful for every smile, every hug, every prayer. Onward for all of us."

Watch the video below for more on DuVernay and Winfrey's long-time friendship.