Selma director Ava DuVernay said today that as the seventh director offered the project, “I went into that film with one thought, singular and clear: Serve this story. You have to. It wasn’t made with any sort of achievement in mind.” In her keynote address to the South By Southwest Film Festival in Austin, Texas, DuVernay said she became happier and more fulfilled by not worrying about box office and awards — and focusing on the stories, USA Today reported. She was keenly conscious of the burden of history in making the first theatrical feature about Dr. Martin Luther King.

For her trouble, some observers felt Selma was largely overlooked at the Oscars — with just two nominations, for Best Picture and Original Song, the latter of which it won. With all of that behind her, however, she told the audience “Listen to me. I’ve had the f—ing most awesome year, OK? I’m telling you. This time last year we were not even shooting that film.” Her next project, also with Selma star David Oyelowo, is expected to be a love story and murder mystery framed around Hurricane Katrina. She will write and produce and direct, and he will produce and star. It’s her third deal behind her Sundance hit Middle Of Nowhere and Selma .