Breaking Barriers in Hollywood – Ava DuVernay Becomes the First Woman of Color to Helm $100 Million Film

Black director Ava DuVernay continues to break the mold. Read on …

Award-winning director Ava DuVernay will be the first African-American woman to head a live-action feature film with a budget over $100 million with her forthcoming A Wrinkle in Time.

DuVernay will share the feat with only two other women: Kathryn Bigelow, who was the first to direct a film with such a budget in her 2002 K-19: The Widowmaker, and Patty Jenkins with Wonder Woman, which comes out next year, reports Women and Hollywood. – Times

Yes, you read that right.  DuVernay will be the first black woman — and actually, first woman of color — to direct a $100-million budget live-action feature film!  In an industry where woman directors of color are in the single digits percentage-wise, this IS news.  Let’s go back to where DuVernay started …

  • Ava DuVernay graduated from UCLA with a B.A. in African-American studies and English.  Yep, she’s a double major.
  • After college, she started off in journalism, then switched to publicity.
  • DuVernay made her directorial debut in 2008 with the documentary This Is Life.  Documentaries are typically low-budget, so she started small, and this was just eight years ago.
  • Then came her first narrative film in 2011 titled I Will Follow.  It was also low budget; she used less than $50,000 of her own money (Source).
  • Then came Middle of Nowhere, for which she became the first African-American woman to win the Best Director Award at the Sundance Film Festival.  (I believe you can still watch this movie on Netflix.)
  • Fast forward to Selma, in 2014, which garnered two Oscar nominations.

Fast forward to now!

Congratulations, DuVernay!!  Keep doing big things!

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