Saturday, December 13, 2014

Ava DuVernay makes history as first black woman for Golden Globe director’s prize.

Director Ava DuVernay, front, and actor David Oyelowo pose for a photograph for their new movie "Selma" in Toronto on Wednesday, December 10, 2014.
Sandy CohenThe Associated Press
Ava DuVernay hasn’t had time to consider how she’s made history.

With her nomination Thursday for “Selma,” the 42-year-old became the first black woman on the short list for a Golden Globe director’s prize.

“I just turned in the film four weeks ago and now we’ve got nominations,” DuVernay said by phone from Toronto. “I haven’t had a real second to sit down and really think about it.”

“Selma” tells the story of Martin Luther King Jr. and his colleagues as they planned marches from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, to demand voting rights in 1965. It opens in theatres on Christmas.

The civil rights drama earned four nominations in all, including best actor for star David Oyelowo, best original song for Common and John Legend’s “Glory,” and best picture.

DuVernay and Oyelowo said they’ll celebrate by taking a planned trip to Washington, D.C., to show the film to members of Congress and present a special honour to Rep. John Lewis (D-Georgia), who is depicted in “Selma.”

Next month’s Golden Globes ceremony won’t be the first for DuVernay. She worked as a publicist for a dozen years before becoming a filmmaker and ushered many clients through Hollywood’s awards circuit.

“I remember standing on the side in my black suit when we had so many nominations for ‘Dreamgirls,’ which I was a publicist on. Then you make sure that your people get through to backstage and get to the party,” she said. “And to think that this year I’ll be at the party with a seat in an actual chair instead of standing on the side, it’s going to be thrilling. I’m the one that stands on the side and supports the artist, and this time I’m the artist.”

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