Ava DuVernay (1/7)

87th Annual Academy Awards - Red Carpet

DuVernay was famously skipped over for her work on the Martin Luther King, Jr., biopic Selma in 2015, when the Academy failed her nominate her for Best Director. Her snub and others fueled the #OscarsSoWhite campaign, which deplored the failure of any minority actor to garner a nod in all four major performance categories. This year, she’s in the running for Best Documentary for 13th, which examines the roots of the United States’ incarceration epidemic. She’s the first black female director to earn a nomination in the category, meaning she’d be the first-ever to win.

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