Selma director Ava DuVernay made history when the Golden Globe Awards nominations were announced on Thursday by becoming the first African-American female filmmaker to score a nod.
Producer and star Oprah Winfrey invited little-known DuVernay to direct the acclaimed Martin Luther King, Jr. biopic after the film’s leading man, David Oyelowo, urged the media mogul to check out her low budget film Middle of Nowhere.
The gamble paid off – Selma has become an Oscars frontrunner and the film landed four nominations when the Golden Globes shortlist was announced, including a Best Director nod for DuVernay.
But she admits she only wanted one – a Best Actor nomination for Oyelowo.
She tells The Hollywood Reporter, “All I was thinking in my heart, truly, was ‘Please, just David, just David…’ This man put every ounce of his heart and spirit and mind, every piece of his DNA into this picture.”
Only two other African-Americans, both male, have been nominated in the best director category – Spike Lee for Do The Right Thing and Steve McQueen for 12 Years a Slave.
Thrilled Oyelowo tells the publication, “She’s the first black woman to be nominated for best director. She’s made a little bit of history. It’s so wonderful. I’m so proud of her. She’s only been doing this for five years, this is her third movie. It’s a big moment for her.”