The 80th edition of the Venice Film Festival has recently announced its lineup, bringing a significant breakthrough for diversity in cinema. Among the selected works in the Official Competition, five women filmmakers are taking the spotlight, and making history is Ava DuVernay, the first Black woman to be featured in this prestigious category. DuVernay’s upcoming film, titled “Origin,” is vying for the Golden Lion.
“Origin” is an adaptation of the influential and Pulitzer Prize-winning nonfiction book, “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents,” written by Isabel Wilkerson. The film delves into the deeply rooted issues of racism in the United States, exploring the concept of a rigid caste system that continues to shape society.
The movie boasts an exceptional ensemble cast, with Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor leading the way, along with Jon Bernthal, Vera Farmiga, Niecy Nash-Betts, Audra McDonald, Nick Offerman, Jasmine Cephas Jones, Blair Underwood, and Connie Nielsen. Myles Frost, Victoria Pedretti, Isha Blaaker, Leonardo Nam, Donna Mills, Emily Yancy, Finn Wittrock, and Mieke Schymura complete the talented lineup.
Notably, Ava DuVernay not only directed the film but also wrote the screenplay and produced it alongside her veteran collaborator Paul Garnes under ARRAY Filmworks.
“Origin” will be competing against other outstanding works by female filmmakers at the festival. Sofia Coppola’s “Priscilla,” Agnieszka Holland’s “The Green Border,” Malgorzata Szumowska’s “Woman Of” (co-directed with Michal Englert), and Fien Troch’s “Holly” are among the films that will be screened alongside DuVernay’s creation. The inclusion of these five women filmmakers is a positive step toward increasing gender representation at the Venice Film Festival.
Regina King also made history as the first Black woman to screen at the Venice Film Festival with her 2020 film “One Night in Miami.” Although her film was screened at the festival, it wasn’t part of the competition screenings.
Ava DuVernay’s impressive career has been characterized by breaking barriers and making history. In 2012, she became the first black woman to win Sundance’s dramatic competition with her feature film “Middle of Nowhere.” Additionally, she served as a jury member at the Cannes Competition in 2018.
The 80th edition of the Venice Film Festival is set to run from August 30 to September 9. As of now, there is no larger release date announced for Ava’s groundbreaking film, “Origin.”
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