Ava DuVernay’s ‘Origin’ To Compete At Venice Film Festival

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Wilson Morales | BFTV

The Venice Film Festival revealed the lineup for its 80th edition Tuesday morning, and its Official Competition featured works by five women filmmakers, including Ava DuVernay, who makes history as the first African American woman in selection. This year Venice runs Aug 30 — Sep 9.

DuVernay’s Origin will mark a significant landmark for Venice as the first film by an African American woman to play in Competition. Regina King was the first ever African American woman to play Venice in 2020 with her well-received biopic One Night in Miami. However, the pic played Out of Competition before landing three Oscar noms.

Origin, directed by DuVernay from a screenplay she co-wrote with Isabel Wilkerson, is an adaptation of Wilkerson’s seminal, Pulitzer Prize-winning nonfiction book, Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents.

The text carries a strong philosophical weight as it describes racism in the United States as an aspect of a rigid caste system of arbitrary hierarchies that stratify society and still divide us today.

The film stars Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor, Jon Bernthal, Connie Nielsen, Niecy Nash-Betts, Audra McDonald, Vera Farmiga, Nick Offerman, Blair Underwood, Jasmine Cephas Jones, Finn Wittrock, Myles Frost, Victoria Pedretti, Isha Blaaker,  Donna Mills, Leonardo Ham, and Gisssette Valentin.