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Ava DuVernay Becomes First Black Woman Nominated for Best Director Golden Globe

Ava DuVernay tends to accept her awards (and her award nominations) with other people in mind. When she became the first African-American woman to win best director at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, she told MAKERS, “I don't wear it as a definitive declaration that I was the first best director who happened to be an African American woman because I know it's not true. You got to tip your hat to the sisters who came before.”

Now, with the Thursday announcement that she is the first black woman to be nominated for a best director Golden Globe with her civil rights film Selma, DuVernay told The Hollywood Reporter her only hope was that her star, David Oyelowo, would get a Globe nod. He plays Martin Luther King, Jr. in the film. “All I was thinking in my heart, truly, was ‘Please just David, just David,'” DuVernay said. “This man put every ounce of his heart and spirit and mind, every piece of his DNA into this picture. That’s all I wanted.”

She got her wish: Oyelowo was nominated for best actor, drama, and Selma—a Paramount film about the civil rights marches of Selma, Alabama—was nominated for best picture, drama. 

When Selma locked picture on November 9, Oprah (who helped produce the film and acts in a small role) tweeted: “…the word ‘amazing’ though often overused is appropriate in describing Ava DuVernay. She’s done the impossible.” And when the call came through that Selma swept the Globes? USA Today reports she was singing, literally. 

DuVernay has made history with her film and the awards that are now accompanying it. Selma will be released on December 25 in limited release before opening wide on January 9, 2015.

Read DuVernay’s interview with MAKERS here, and watch her in MAKERS: Women in Hollywood, then click through the gallery above to meet more black female filmmakers and showrunners you should know.

Featured image via Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP