This year, we’re celebrating an extended Black History Month by highlighting a variety of rising artists who are creating history before our very eyes. The next artist in our month-long series is Ava DuVernay, best known as the director of Selma but someone who is quickly becoming much more than her most successful film project.
Four years removed from her Best Director Prize win at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival for Middle of Nowhere—in which she became the first African-American woman to win the prestigious award—DuVernay is now one of Hollywood’s most in-demand minds following Selma’s Oscar run last year. DuVernay’s snub from the Best Director category was rightly called into question last year, as her account of one of the most important moments in Martin Luther King Jr.’s life was visually compelling and emotionally stirring. In an industry full of white male auteurs, DuVernay's commercial and critical success proved downright inspiring.
At 43 years old, DuVernay is in a position in which she can pursue any project she wants; she’s currently working on a series with Oprah Winfrey, and is reuniting with Selma star David Oyelowo for a drama set during Hurricane Katrina. The director made major waves with Selma, but DuVernay is very much just getting started.