TVWeek, The Atlantic, California Film Commission

How Ava DuVernay Just Made Hollywood History

Aug 4, 2016  •  Post A Comment

If she wasn’t already, Ava DuVernay may have just become a household name. The director, screenwriter and film marketer and distributor has become the first woman of color assigned to direct a $100 million movie.

DuVernay has been breaking down barriers for a while now, including becoming the first black female director to be nominated for a Golden Globe Award, for her 2014 movie “Selma” — which also earned DuVernay the distinction of being the first black female director to have her film nominated for the Best Picture Oscar.

Now DuVernay has been named to direct Disney’s “A Wrinkle in Time,” which The Atlantic reports has a production budget of at least $103 million. The adaptation of the Madeleine L’Engle children’s book will star Oprah Winfrey.

“Hollywood made its very first $100 million film in 1994 with ‘True Lies,’ directed by James Cameron,” The Atlantic notes. “In the 22 years since, the industry has seen an explosion of films (335 to be exact) that have cost nine-digit sums to make, but not a single woman of color has been at the helm of one until now.”

DuVernay was named as the project’s director earlier this year, but the film’s budget came to light in a list of projects released Wednesday by the California Film Commission that will be receiving tax credits. The movie is in line for an estimated $18.1 million in tax credits — the most of any project on the list and the most since the state more than tripled its tax incentive program in 2014.

Some of the other movies lined up for hefty tax credits are Paramount’s “Force,” with an estimated $6.7 million in credits; Paramount’s “Home Invasion” ($7.3 million); New Line’s “Private Benjamins” and “Tag” ($5.2 million each); and Ultimo Films’ “Magic Camp” ($5.4 million).

Click here to see the full list of movie projects receiving tax credits.


  1. Why is discussing someone’s race and gender more important than their qualifications? Does this not feed into racism?

  2. That does not take away the fact that this is history-making. It is not about discussing her race but marking a historical milestone. Are you that dense?

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