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Why A Wrinkle In Time director Ava DuVernay is blazing a trail in Hollywood


A Wrinkle in Time is shaping up to be one of the biggest films of 2018. From its big stars to its big budget, all eyes are on Disney's marquee movie, not least because director Ava DuVernay is at the helm.

The movie represents the latest in a series of trailblazing firsts for the acclaimed filmmaker. We're taking a look at what makes her so special, and why you should be so excited about her latest project.

She's renowned for her versatility

Ava DuVernay shot to international attention with her Oscar nominated Martin Luther King biopic Selma. But before that, she'd already garnered awards and critical acclaim for her documentary making.

This is the Life is a chronicle of the rise of the underground hip hop movement in 1990s Los Angeles. With a slew of praise from publications such as the LA Times and Variety, it also received a number of awards, including the Audience Award at both the ReelWorld Film Festival in Toronto and the Langston Hughes African-American Film Festival in Seattle.

This was followed by two films: I Will Follow and Middle of Nowhere, two independent, low budget films. Whilst the first was well received, the second won her a directing award at the Sundance Film Festival. The film also won the Josephine Baker Award at the Women Film Critics Circle Awards, gaining recognition from her female peers in the industry.

She made the first-ever big screen drama about Martin Luther King

In 2014 came Selma, DuVernay's most expansive project to date. Not only that, the fact it was a biopic of iconic Civil Rights activist Martin Luther King (played by a sensational David Oyelowo) brought the movie to widespread attention.

The ensuing film was hailed as a masterpiece, accurate and entertaining and resulted in a host of nominations and wins, including Oscar nominations for Best Picture and Best Original Song. From documentaries and independent films to Hollywood productions, DuVernay has shown she has the vision to bring a variety of different stories to life, and A Wrinkle in Time looks set to continue that trend.

She's awards feted

To date, Ava DuVernay has been personally nominated for 48 awards for her various works, winning 23 of them. These include her Oscar nomination, two Emmy wins for her prison documentary 13th, and a Grammy nomination for Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media for Selma.

She is also the first black woman to win the Best Director prize at Sundance, the first black female director to be nominated for a Golden Globe in the directing category and the first black female director to have her film nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars.

DuVernay is creating history and has already left a legacy in the film industry. Could A Wrinkle in Time bag her a first Oscar win? Her First Golden Globe win?

A Wrinkle In Time

DuVernay's trail-blazing looks set to continue with her biggest project so far, not to mention her first family fantasy adventure. Her new Disney epic features a mixture of veteran black stars and exciting young faces, making a powerful case for diversity within blockbuster filmmaking.

Adapted from Madeleine L'Engle's beloved children's novel, the movie tells the story of Meg Murry (played by newcomer Storm Reid). Meg is searching for her father who went missing years ago. Sadly, he's trapped on another planet "in the grip of a universe-spanning evil". This means that Meg must travel through time and space in a Doctor Who-esque adventure in order to rescue him.

With Oprah Winfrey, Mindy Kaling, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Reese Witherspoon and Chris Pine rounding out the cast, A Wrinkle In Time could be the family blockbuster that gets everybody talking when it's released on 23rd March.

Marvyn Wilson is an Unlimited card holder who blogs for Cineworld as part of our news team.