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"Selma" director Ava DuVernay addresses talk of Marvel's "Black Panther"

Ava DuVernay is one of the most buzzed-about directors these days.

The first black woman to earn best-director honors at the Sundance Film Festival, she scored a best-director Golden Globe nomination for “Selma,” which filmed largely in metro Atlanta. Is a Marvel project in her future?

“Insiders suggest that ‘Black Panther,’ due in July 2018, is the most likely possibility,” reported industry publication The Wrap, one of many media outlets speculating about the prospect.

Ava DuVernay with "Selma" producer/cast member Oprah Winfrey. Getty Images

“Black Panther” will star Chadwick Boseman in the title role, a character he’ll also play in “Captain America: Civil War,” which happens to be filming in Atlanta these days.

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DuVernay has been in Atlanta recently as well, for a Sunday night gala celebrating former Atlanta Mayor and U.N. Ambassador Andrew Young’s 83rd birthday. We got a moment with her on the red carpet, and asked about the Marvel talk.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” she demurred, all wink-wink like.

So, we’ll see what happens. For now, the director directed us to mention AFFRM, or the African-American Film Festival Releasing Movement, “a distribution collective of black arts organizations dedicated to quality black independent films” that she founded in 2011. You can become a supporter, or an “AFFRM Rebel,” at Donations support the distribution of films by artists working outside of the studio system.

Ava DuVernay made sure I wrote down! Photo: Jamila Robinson

DuVernay was honored with the Civil Rights and Civic Participation award from the Andrew J. Young Foundation on Sunday. During her remarks, she noted that “Selma” began filming just about a year ago.

“To come back here and see you and to think about our journey over the last year and the fact that it was made possible in large part because of your generosity of spirit was very moving to me,” she told Young. “You have never rested on your laurels. I honor you today. You aren’t a chapter in a history book to me. You aren’t a street in Atlanta. You are a man who is deeply loving and deeply loved.”

She’s headed to Japan soon to premiere “Selma” there.

“It’s your story,” DuVernay told Young. “It’s the story of you and your friends and what you did to change the world.”

Here's another portion of her speech:

About the Author

Jennifer Brett is a multiplatform journalist and digital coach. She writes The Buzz blog for

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