In what is a fairly boring awards season on the movie side, it is awesome that Selma (it opens properly on Christmas day, and so far I’ve heard wonderful things about it) is bringing awards attention and press towards its director, Ava DuVernay, a rising talent.
With this morning’s Golden Globes announcements, DuVernay is the first black woman nominated for the Best Director, Motion Picture category. This is par for the course with DuVernay, who was also the first black woman to win the directing prize at Sundance in 2012 for her second feature, Middle of Nowhere. She’s certainly in the mix for a Best Director nomination for the 2015 Academy Awards; we’ll know for sure come January 15, 2015, when the nominations are announced.
While you wait for Selma‘s release on Christmas Day, read up on DuVernay. She’s the Crush of the Week at The Guardian, and Bim Adewunmi writes that she is a much-needed talent in Hollywood and “her films are essentially love letters to women who look like me.” There’s an IndieWire piece called “The 8 Most Badass Things Ava DuVernay Said About Being a Female Director,” where DuVernay revealed how she runs sets: “I needed them to know that I respected what they did and I intended for them to respect what I did and if at any point that broke down then they would no longer be there. In a very nice way!”
Finally, The New York Times‘ Manohla Dargis wrote a fascinating piece on DuVernay’s path to Selma, placing it in the context of how female directors find work in Hollywood’s boys club: “she has done what few female directors get the opportunity to do, which is go large — with politics and history — with a decent budget and serious muscle.”