Golden-Globes-Best-Director

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Celebrate black history month by watching the works of these 10 history-making directors

1 to 5:

Amma Asante 

Best Known For: Winning a BAFTA award for Best Debut Feature for A Way of Life, directing indie hit Belle 10 years later. 

Notable Works: Belle (2014)A United Kingdom (2016)

Forthcoming: Where Hands Touch (2017)

Ava DuVernay 

Best Known For: Being the first black woman to win Best Director at Sundance, the first black woman to be nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Director and being the first black woman to direct a movie nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars. 

Notable Works: Middle of Nowhere (2012), Selma (2014)

Forthcoming: A Wrinkle in Time (2018)

Julie Dash 

Best Known For: Being the first black American woman to have a feature length film be theatrically distributed in the U.S.

Notable Works: Daughters of the Dust (1991)

Forthcoming: Travel Notes of a Geechee Girl (2016)

Safi Faye 

Best Known For: This Senagalese woman became the first Sub-Saharan woman to have a film be commercially distributed in 1976. 

Notable Works: Letter From My Village (1976), Mossane (1996)

Forthcoming: N/A.

Kasi Lemmons 

Best Known For: With all four of her feature films released theatrically in the U.S. she currently holds the record as the black woman director with the most commercially distributed films. 

Notable Works: Eve’s Bayou (1997) 

Forthcoming: Agaat, On Beauty

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#BlackWomenInFilm

Ava DuVernay.

Best Known For: Being the first Black woman to win Best Director at Sundance, the first black woman to be nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Director and being the first black woman to direct a movie nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars.

Notable Works: Middle of Nowhere, Selma, Queen Sugar, and 13th.

Forthcoming: A Wrinkle in Time.

Source/Credit: Riya Jama

Schindler’s List was a deeply personal film for director Steven Spielberg. He insisted that all royalties and residuals from this film that would normally have gone to him be given to the Shoah Foundation, which records and preserves written and videotaped testimonies from survivors of genocide worldwide, including the Holocaust. He also refused to accept a salary for making the film and does not autograph any materials related to it. When Spielberg returned to Cal State Long Beach to earn his BA 34 years after dropping out, his film professor accepted this movie in place of the short student film normally required to pass the class. This movie had already won Spielberg Golden Globes and Oscars for Best Director and Best Picture. Spielberg has also mentioned that if there are only two films he is to be remembered by, he would like them to be E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial and Schindler’s List (x).

Ava DuVernay b. August 24, 1972

DuVernay is an American filmmaker and distributor. 

She graduated from UCLA with a double major in English literature and Africa-American studies. After graduation DuVernay began to work as a publicist for movies, eventually creating her own successful publicity firm. From 1999 to 2011 she is credited as doing publicity work on nearly 100 films and TV shows. While doing the work DuVernay developed a desire to become a filmmaker in her own right.  

In 2006 she directed her first short film Saturday Night Life. She followed this up with several short documentaries. In 2010 she made her feature film debut with the film I Will Follow which she entirely self-funded using $50,000 of her own money. Unable to find a distributor willing to release the film theatrically she created the African-American Film Festival Releasing Movement (AFFRM) and distributed the film herself.

By 2012 DuVernay made her second film Middle of Nowhere. With the film DuVernay achieved a long-standing goal to have her work shown at the Sundance Film Festival. Not only was it screened in the U.S. dramatic competition category but DuVernay also won the Best Director award making her the first African-American woman to win that category. 

Despite the festival success of Middle of Nowhere no distributors were willing to give the movie a theatrical release. DuVernay again released her film via AFFRM. She was offered work directing TV and commercials, but no movie offers came her way. In 2013 however David Oyelowo, who had starred in Middle of Nowhere, was attached to the movie Selma which had recently lost director Lee Daniels who wanted more money to make the film. Oyelowo asked the producers to consider hiring DuVernay which they did as she was willing to make the film for a budget of $20 million, re-write the script with no credit and the limitation that none of Martin Luther King jr’s speeches could actually be used. 

Selma was DuVernay’s first film with a studio distributor, an awards campaign, and a wide release. She became the first black woman nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Director and the first black woman to direct a Best Picture nominee at the Oscars. 

In 2015 DuVernay, who had kept AFFRM open and continued to give theatrical distribution to small films directed and or/starring African-Americans, partnered with Netflix and re-branded her company as ARRAY revealing that the scope of the distribution company would now also include a mandate to focus on films directed by women. 

The following year DuVernay partnered with Oprah’s company OWN to create the miniseries Queen Sugar for which she hired a directorial crew made up entirely of women. She also announced that she had secretly been filming a documentary called The 13th, which would debut at the 2016 New York Film Festival making her the first person to have a documentary open the festival and the first black woman to open the festival. 

She is currently working on an adaptation of the book A Wrinkle in Time for Disney, a film with a budget of over $100 million making her only the fifth woman and first black woman to direct a live-action movie with a budget that large. 

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ROBERT DOWNEY, JR.  captures the essence of comic genius Charlie Chaplin in a compelling, nuanced performance that earned him Oscar® and Golden Globe nominations for Best Actor. Director Richard Attenborough’s well-crafted portrait traces Chaplin’s impoverished London upbringing, extraordinary success as an actor and director, his troubled marriages, scandalous affairs, shocking exile to Switzerland and his triumphant return to Hollywood. The huge star-studded cast includes KEVIN KLINE, DAN AYKROYD, MILLA JOVOVICH, DIANE LANE and GERALDINE CHAPLIN (as her own grandmother), and Downey’s astonishing mimicry of Chaplin’s gait, gestures and accents complete a dazzlingly authentic portrait of one of cinema’s first pop culture icons.

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Huge congratulations to The Revenant on three wins at the Golden Globes! Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor for Leonardo DiCaprio! 

Leo gave a gracious speech, saying he wanted to share his award with all the First Nations people represented in the film and all the indigenous communities around the world, and thanking his director and co-stars, in particular Tom Hardy.

“I really want to thank the actors that I got to stand shoulder to shoulder with in this film, in particular my good friend Tom Hardy who is a beast, an unbelievable talent who was there every single day, who I know in real life would never bury me alive and leave me out in the cold to die like that.”

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Ava DuVernay Earns Her Way Into the History Books - First Black Woman Director to Be Nominated for a Golden Globe Award
By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act
December 11, 2014 at 9:14AM

Here they are - the nominees for the 72nd Annual Golden Globe Awards, which were announced this morning from the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA. Kate Beckinsale, Peter Krause, Paula Patton, and Jeremy Piven joined Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) President Theo Kingma for the announcement.

Nominations were announced in 25 categories.

Of note, with regards to this blog’s interests, “Selma” picked up a healthy 4 nominations - Best Picture, Drama; Best Actor, Drama (David Oyelowo); Best Director (Ava DuVernay); and Best Original Song, Motion Picture (“Glory”). It’s worth noting that Golden Globe motion picture nominees historically foretell what the Oscar nominees will be; not that they are always 100% accurate, but there’s a very good chance that most of the names you see here will carry over to the announcements scheduled to be made on January 15, 2015. So, despite the SAG Awards absence (the film wasn’t completed in time to meet the submission deadline), it’s set up here nicely for some recognition at the granddaddy of all ceremonies.

I should note that, with her nomination, Ava DuVernay makes history, becoming the first black woman director to be nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Director in the Motion Picture category. She’s on her way to doing the same, when the Oscar nominees are announced next month. Previous nominees of African descent in this category include Steve McQueen for “12 Years a Slave,” and Spike Lee for “Do the Right Thing.” It’s painfully incredible that between the years of 1990 to 2014 (24 looooong years), there wasn’t a single black director (male or female) nominated for Best Director in the Motion Picture category!