Ava DuVernay wants to see more diversity in the filmmaking industry. DuVernay, who recently made history as the first African-American female director to handle a $100 million studio budget for A Wrinkle In Time, spilled on the importance of offering more storytellers a seat at the table.
During a press day at the New York Film Festival, DuVernay shared how her perspective may be different from other directors in the industry. "I know that who I am has not been brought to studio films before because no one’s done [it] who looks like me, who is like me, [or] who has my perspective as a black woman filmmaker," the Selma director said of her forthcoming film to Collider. "Whatever filmmaker you want to name—I’ll name my good friend J.J. Abrams. The way he’s going to shoot the very same script and I’m going to shoot the script are going to be different because we come from different places, and we’re interested in maybe the same thing, but our eyes are different. Our memories in our own head are different."
The Queen Sugar creator also noted that a more diverse representation in the industry would result in different types of films and narratives. "And so, I think it’s fantastic to have a different set of eyes on this stuff, and I just want there to be more and more and more," she added. "Don’t we want different kinds of films? Don’t we wanna see them from different angles?"
In addition to reflecting a diverse directorial staff, DuVernay is seeking to bring that idea in front of the camera as well. Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, and 12 Years a Slave actress, Storm Reid have all jumped on board.
While DuVernay plans to bring her own twist and fresh perspective to the 1963 novel, the director says she was first drawn to the film because of its original story of a girl traveling through the universe in search of some one she loves. "It’s just a classic story... There are creatures; there are different planets. To think about, ‘wow, I could design those planets—that stuff is rare air. And so immediately I was like, ‘I’m in. I’m so in.’ And it’s fun every single day."