Ava DuVernay is to be given the 2018 Producers Guild's Visionary Award.

The 'Selma' filmmaker will pick up the accolade at the 29th Annual Producers Guild Awards, on January 20, 2018 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles, and admitted she was delighted with the recognition.

She tweeted: ''This is so lovely and unexpected. I love producing. Almost as much as directing. So you know that's a lot! My thanks to @ProducersGuild for this encouraging recognition. (sic)''

DuVernay's emergence in the movie industry was hailed as one of the ''great developments of the past several years''.

Producers Guild Awards chairs Donald De Line and Amy Pascal said in a statement: ''The emergence of Ava DuVernay as a producer and filmmaker has been one of the great developments of the past several years.

''Whether in scripted features, television or documentaries, her unique voice, skill and passion have inspired countless audiences throughout our country and around the world.''

The 45-year-old director will follow in the footsteps of the likes of Brad Pitt, Megan Ellison, Laura Ziskin, and Jeff Skoll in winning the accolade.

Last month, DuVernay claimed Hollywood ''intentionally'' chooses not to hire black actors or filmmakers.

She said: ''I would say that it's quite intentional. You're basically saying, 'This is what we want, and this is what we're going to have.' There's no way you can tell me that there hasn't been effort put into exclusion.''