Ava DuVernay

image via Twitter @AVAETC

*”Selma” director Ava DuVernay made history when she became the first Black woman to be named Best Director at the Sundance Film Festival. Now, she’s set to make history once again, as she will be the first Black woman–and third woman overall–to direct a film with a budget over $100 million when she begins working on Disney’s “A Wrinkle in Time.”

“A Wrinkle in Time” is based on a screenplay by “Frozen” director Jennifer Lee and stars Oprah Winfrey. The film is set for a 2017 release.

Melissa Silverstein writes:

Ava DuVernay will be the first African American woman to helm a live-action feature with a budget over $100 million. Only two other women have directed live-action films with a budget in this range. Kathryn Bigelow was the first in 2002 with “K-19: The Widowmaker.” Patty Jenkins will be the second with next year’s “Wonder Woman.” And now Ava DuVernay will be the third. And she’ll be the first woman of color.

DuVernay has worked her way up from directing extremely low-budget films to a studio tentpole. Her feature debut, 2011’s “I Will Follow,” was made for $50,000 and her 2012 follow-up, “Middle Of Nowhere,” had a budget of $200,000. Oscar-nominated biopic “Selma” was a big step up budget-wise: the 2014 film’s budget was $20 million. And now DuVernay has crossed the $100 million mark — and only five years following the release of her first indie feature. She’s done that on authenticity and talent. This is a normal path for male directors, but one rarely accessible to women.

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Only two other women have directed live-action films with a budget over $75 million. Kathryn Bigelow was the first in 2002 with “K-19: The Widowmaker.” Patty Jenkins will be the second with next year’s “Wonder Woman.”

Duvernay’s new TV series, “Queen Sugar,” will debut on OWN on September 6. Every episode of the first season is directed by a woman. The drama has already been renewed for a second season.