Big News: Ava DuVernay, Dee Rees Go Back in Time With New Projects

Big News: Ava DuVernay, Dee Rees Go Back in Time With New Projects

These two landed epic new gigs.

Published March 22, 2016

#OscarsSoWhite could be a thing of the past in the next year or two if Black Hollywood has something to say about it. Filmmakers of color are out in full force, hustling to get their films made against all odds. Two of our favorites, Ava DuVernay and Dee Rees, recently signed on to some very exciting projects that we can expect to hit screens sometime next year.

Selma director DuVernay will helm The Battle of Versailles for HBO Films. While that sounds like a war movie, it's actually set in the high stakes world of fashion. The film is about the legendary 1973 Palace of Versailles fashion show, which pitted the five best French designers (Yves Saint Laurent, Hubert de Givenchy, Pierre Cardin, Emanuel Ungaro, and Marc Bohan) against five American designers the world had not yet heard of (Oscar de la Renta, Bill Blass, Anne Klein, Halston, and Stephen Burrows). We'll let Google spoil it for you as to who won the battle, but one of the most interesting aspects of the film is that a third of the models from the American side were Black. 

As for Rees, she's following up the success of her Bessie Smith biopic Bessie with a World War II drama called Mudbound, based on the acclaimed 2009 novel by Hillary Jordan. Carey Mulligan, Straight Outta Compton's Jason Mitchell and Zero Dark Thirty's Jason Clarke lead the cast. Mudbound is set in 1946, and follows the city-bred Laura McAllan, who is trying to raise her children on her husband's Mississippi Delta cotton farm just after WWII, and two soldiers returning home from the war — one of them is white, and the other is Black.

Both Ava and Dee are adding to their growing list of projects and are becoming increasingly powerful voices in Hollywood. Catch up on Ava's upcoming collaboration with Lupita Nyong'o, below:

Written by Evelyn Diaz

(Photos from left: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images, Michael Kovac/Getty Images for ELLE)


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