"I was hurt by the fact that David wasn't nominated because I know what it took to get that performance," DuVernay said at the film's premiere in Berlin, adding, "I don't need anyone to tell me that it's one of the best performances of 2014; no one needs to even say that to me because I already know."
Besides best picture, "Selma" is also nominated in the original song category for "Glory," By Common and John Legend.
"It's a song that is going to be in the culture for quite a while," DuVernay said. "Already choirs and students and people are singing this song and it's becoming a protest that I think will last."
She said she was not expecting a best-director bid from the film academy. "There has been no precedent for a black woman to be nominated for best director, so why was it going to change with me?" she said.
Yet the director said she feels honored the film is a contender for the top Oscar.
"We were nominated as best picture, which is nothing to sneeze at," she said. "People act like we dragged out of there with nothing. I mean, best picture."