This is no small feat and has not been achieved in over 80 years.
But Ava’s journey to Venice was not without obstacles.
She revealed she had been advised against applying to the festival and had received skepticism about her chances.
Nevertheless, Ava DuVernay’s unwavering determination led her to this remarkable moment.
The filmmaker explains how Black filmmakers’ narratives are necessary for the global stage.
DuVernay addressed the challenges faced by Black filmmakers on the international scene.
“For Black filmmakers, we’re told that people who love films in other parts of the world don’t care about our stories and don’t care about our films. This is something that we are often told: you cannot play international film festivals, no one will come… People will not come to the press conferences, people won’t come to the P&I screenings. They will not be interested in selling tickets. You might not even get into this festival, don’t apply… I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told, ‘Don’t apply to Venice, you won’t get in. It won’t happen.’ And this year, something happened that hadn’t happened in eight decades before: an African American woman in competition… So now that’s a door open that I trust and hope the festival will keep open.”
Ava DuVernay’s “Origin” Unveils a Poignant Tale of Injustice.
Ava DuVernay’s film “Origin” introduces audiences to the remarkable life and work of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Isabel Wilkerson.
The film‘s official synopsis describes it as a deep exploration of injustice’s origins.
It also highlights a revelation of a hidden truth with universal implications.
The announcement of Neon securing worldwide rights for “Origin” marked a pivotal moment.
Initially, the film started with the studio system.
However, Ava DuVernay emphasized the importance of maintaining the film’s independence during the press conference.
The filmmaker explains:
“I don’t feel like we would have had the cast that we had if it had remained in the studio system. The studio system is a place where I worked and made projects that I’m proud of, but there is really an aspect of control over who plays what… And there is an idea about who makes money, attracts attention and sometimes that sits at odds with who might be the best person for the part. Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor was the best person for this part.”
DuVernay explained that actors like Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor and Jon Bernthal even exceeded expectations and she praised the ensemble’s exceptional talent.
“This cast is populated with actors who are not quote-unquote superstars in Hollywood…It’s populated with meat-and-potatoes, blood, sweat and tears working actors who are very respected. The whole cast is filled with them, and together you see how they shine like stars… So I think it gets into this idea of the value that we place on certain artists based on corporations saying who is more valuable and who’s not. And thank goodness we made this film independently and we were able to hand pick everyone.”
The film also features an ensemble cast that includes:
- Niecy Nash-Betts
- Vera Farmiga
- Audra McDonald
- Nick Offerman
- Blair Underwood
- Connie Nielsen
- Emily Yancy
- Jasmine Cephas-Jones
- Finn Wittock
- Victoria Pedretti
- Isha Blaaker
- Myles Frost
The world eagerly anticipated the premiere of “Origin.”
The film marks a remarkable achievement in Ava DuVernay’s career.
It also embraces a significant stride toward diversity and inclusion in the cinematic world.
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Be sure to catch “Origin” as it premieres on Wednesday night.