BY Yohana Desta
PUB Vanity Fair [/two_fifth][three_fifth_last padding=”0 0px 0 10px”]
The filmmaker talks Oprah, TV, and what it’s like to adapt A Wrinkle in Time.
“For her to be able to not just advocate for women in film, and people of color in film, but to really [do it] just in a way that is matter of fact and unapologetic, I think, is fabulous,” Baszile tells Vanity Fair.
DuVernay has a cheerleader-like (emphasis on ”leader”) quality when she talks about the people involved in her projects. She seems determined to share every inch of the spotlight, pulling in as many collaborators as possible to stand in the glow with her. A response about her all-female directing staff turns into a speech lavishing praise on each, one by one: “So Yong Kim—how many Korean women filmmakers [are] out there getting their directing on that you know by name? Neema Barnette, the first black woman ever to direct an episode of television, sitcom television,” DuVernay says. “Kat Candler, a great star of SXSW, at Sundance. Salli Richardson-Whitfield, a former actress who was an actress in my first film who just has such a directorial eye just in her everyday life and had been shadowing people, trying to get an episode of television, [but] no one letting her do it. She directed beautiful episodes. Victoria Mahoney, Tanya Hamilton, Tina Mabry.”[/three_fifth_last]
SCREENWRITER, DIRECTOR, DOCUMENTARIAN (1972–)[/two_fifth][three_fifth_last padding=”0 0px 0 10px”]Ava DuVernay is the filmmaker behind ‘Selma,’ which chronicles Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s leadership in the struggle for voting rights. She is the first African-American female director to receive a Golden Globe nomination.
Born in 1972 in Long Beach, California, Ava DuVernay worked in film publicity and marketing, and established her own agency, before deciding to become a filmmaker. She helmed hip-hop documentaries and then released two feature films: I Will Follow (2010) and Middle of Nowhere (2012). The holiday season of 2014 saw the release of Selma, which follows a portion of Dr. Martin Luther King’s life during an urgent call for voting rights. With this critically acclaimed work, DuVernay became the first African-American female director to receive a Golden Globe nomination.