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Ava DuVernay Set to Become the First Black Woman to Direct a $100 Million Movie

Ava Marie DuVernay is an American director, screenwriter, film marketer, and film distributor. At the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, DuVernay won the Best Director Prize for her second feature film Middle of Nowhere, becoming the first African-American woman to win the award. For her work in Selma, DuVernay was the first black female director to be nominated for a Golden Globe Award. With Selma, she was also the first black female director to have her film nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture.

Lastweek, a list of CA tax credits was announced. On that list was Disney’s Ava Duvernay-helmed film “A Wrinkle in Time.” Why that is of note is that this marks the first time CA tax incentives have been given to films with budgets over $75 million.

That got me thinking about women directors and budgets. Deadline writes that the budget for “A Wrinkle in Time” will be over $100 million, and I’ve confirmed that information.

Women And Hollywood wrote:

This is milestone.


Ava DuVernay will be the first African-American woman to helm a live-action feature with a budget over $100 million. Only two other women have directed live-action films with a budget in this range. Kathryn Bigelow was the first in 2002 with “K-19: The Widowmaker.” Patty Jenkins will be the second with next year’s “Wonder Woman.” And now Ava DuVernay will be the third. And she’ll be the first woman of color.

DuVernay has worked her way up from directing extremely low-budget films to a studio tentpole. Her feature debut, 2011’s “I Will Follow,” was made for $50,000 and her 2012 follow-up, “Middle Of Nowhere,” had a budget of $200,000. Oscar-nominated biopic “Selma” was a big step up budget-wise: the 2014 film’s budget was $20 million. And now DuVernay has crossed the $100 million mark — and only five years following the release of her first indie feature. She’s done that on authenticity and talent. This is a normal path for male directors, but one rarely accessible to women.

This is awesome!

On a sidenote, the movie will receive $18 million in California tax credits!


Written by PH

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