Ava DuVernay’s star is rising. DuVernay is the recipient of a number of accolades, including being the first black woman director to have a film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture and  a Golden Globe Award, for Selma.

Her current project, A Wrinkle In Time, which stars media mogul Oprah Winfrey, has a budget of $100 million. DuVernay is the first black woman to preside over a movie with a budget of that size.

Although she has always been fascinated with films, DuVernay didn’t grow up making movies – she spent 14 years after graduation as a publicist for a film producer, according to Makers.

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Despite a very late start, she has gone on to perfect her craft. DuVernay says the secret to her success is just getting started. Speaking to Le CiNéMa Club, she says she gets a lot of questions from people who are interested in getting into film, starting something new or even pursuing their dreams. Her answer is always the same: get started and don’t wait for permission.

“You have to begin. It won’t be perfect and it will be messy and it will be really hard, but you’re doing something, you’re on your way,” she says.

Watch the video below