Ava DuVernay is one of just four women to helm a movie with a budget of over $100 million, and that film, A Wrinkle in Time, is already getting major hype ahead of its release this month.
During the promotional tour, the director has spoken about how precarious she feels her position as a black female filmmaker is in Hollywood compared to the likes of a white male director like Guy Ritchie.
“I just feel like I have a short window in this industry,” she told AP. “There is no precedent for a black woman making films consistently. There are beautiful black women directors but there are seven-year, six-year gaps between them.
“I look at Guy Ritchie. That guy is bulletproof. He can make something that doesn’t work. The next week he’s the director of another thing. I look at him and I’m like, ‘Wow, that’s fantastic.’ But that wouldn’t have been Patty Jenkins and it won’t be me.”
Ritchie’s last two movies – King Arthur: Legend of the Sword and The Man From U.N.C.L.E. – were both flops but he was still given the live-action Aladdin movie to direct by Disney.
DuVernay earned critical acclaim for her historical drama Selma and she became the first black woman to be nominated for Best Director at the Golden Globes. She followed the movie up with a documentary, 13th, which was nominated for an Oscar.
Lynne Ramsay, who directed the new Joaquin Phoenix movie You Were Never Really Here, has also spoken out about the double standard of Hollywood.
You’ve got to stick up for what you believe in. If you don’t do that, you’re doing a disservice to the audience, because you’re making something really diluted,” she told the Guardian.
“And if you do that when you’re a guy, you’re seen as artistic – ‘difficulty’ is seen as a sign of genius. But it’s not the same for women. It’s a tough industry, and if you’re a woman it’s harder, whether you like it or not.”
A Wrinkle in Time is in cinemas on March 23