All 9 Oscar Best Picture Nominees With a Black Director, From 'Precious' to 'Judas and the Black Messiah' (Photos)

“Judas and the Black Messiah” is the latest to join the elite club


Lee Daniels’ “Precious” (2009) • Daniels’ Harlem-set drama marked the first time that a movie with a black director earned a Best Picture nomination. Mo’Nique won best supporting actress and Geoffrey Fletcher won for adapted screenplay — but “The Hurt Locker” won the top prize.

Steve McQueen’s “12 Years a Slave” (2013) • Although McQueen lost the Best Director trophy to Alfonso Cuarón for “Gravity,” he did become the first black producer to win Best Picture for his gritty depiction of the antebellum South.

Ava DuVernay’s “Selma” (2014) • DuVernay’s Martin Luther King Jr. biopic lost to “Birdman” for Best Picture, but did win for John Legend and Common’s song “Glory.”

Denzel Washington’s “Fences” (2016) • Washington directed and starred in this acclaimed adaptation of the August Wilson play — but only co-star Viola Davis went home with gold.

Barry Jenkins’ “Moonlight” (2016) • Jenkins shared the adapted screenplay trophy, lost the directing prize to Damien Chazelle for “La La Land,” and then pulled off one of the biggest upsets in Oscar history by winning Best Picture (a surprise exacerbated by some onstage envelope confusion).

Jordan Peele’s “Get Out” (2017) • Peele won Best Original Screenplay for his socially conscious horror drama, but lost the top prize to “The Shape of Water.”

Ryan Coogler’s “Black Panther” (2018) • Coogler’s Marvel epic is the first superhero movie to earn a Best Picture nomination. But South Korean director Bong Joon-ho’s “Parasite” took home the top prize.

Spike Lee’s “BlacKkKlansman” (2018) • Lee picked up his first directing nomination for this fact-based drama about an African American cop who manages to infiltrate the Ku Klux Klan in the 1970s. While he lost in the directing category, Lee did win his first competitive Oscar for his adapted screenplay (shared with Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz and Kevin Willmott).

Shaka King’s “Judas and the Black Messiah” (2021) • Shaka King’s second feature film, based on the true story of Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, earned six Oscar nominations — two for King as both a producer and co-writer (with Kenny and Keith Lucas). 
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