Ava DuVernay never imagined she’d become a successful filmmaker.
The 48-year-old director is supporting a group of young, international filmmakers as part of a series called “New Realities,” and DuVernay has admitted that for a long time, she had “no concept that a black woman could be a director.”
DuVernay — who is, perhaps, best known for helming Selma — said: “It makes me think about everything that I missed out on because I didn’t become a filmmaker until I was in my 30s.
“At the age that these girls are, I had no concept that a Black woman could be a director. I had no idea that a woman could be a director. I’d never seen it.”
“New Realities” was launched to celebrate the UN’s International Day of the Girl on Oct. 11.
The series follows 10 young women from around the world, and DuVernay can see parallels with their journey and her own.
She told People: “You can go to their village. Be in their city, to see that country through the girl’s eyes.
“The fact that you have girls that are young, these girls are just getting started and are not just making films, they’re making films in 360 reality. It’s really incredible.”
DuVernay also admitted she finds it difficult to predict who will be drawn to her work.
She shared: “One time this older white woman came up to me, and I thought, ‘She probably liked Selma.’
“Instead, she walked up to me and wanted to tell me everything about Ralph Angel Bordelon, the hot young guy on ‘Queen Sugar.’ And then I had a Somali man come up to me in the airport and he wanted to talk all about Storm Reid in Wrinkle in Time, and how much he loved her.
“You never know, we all watch everything now. If you can have someone feeling deeply about what you’ve made, then you’ve won.”
To watch the 10 short films in the “New Realities” series, go to https://www.lenovo.com/us/en/newrealities/stories/