By Ron Wynn
NASHVILLE, TN — Filmmaker Ava DuVernay’s latest film will soon make history. Her latest is titled “Origin,” and the trailer can now be seen online at various locations, among them the website Shadow and Act. Neon announced over the weekend that it has acquired the film. It had its world premiere this week at the Venice Film Festival. After Venice, “Origin” will have a gala screening at the Toronto International Film Festival. The film will later come to theaters across the country. DuVernay’s showing at the Venice Film Festival made her the first Black American woman director to showcase in competition in the festival’s 80-year history.
The trailer for “Origin” spotlights Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor on an intense journey to discover the roots of America’s racial divisions.
The film also presents powerful imagery of tribalism and togetherness. Ellis-Taylor plays a dramatized version of author and journalist Isabel Wilkerson, whose works have offered an incisive examination about American and world history regarding race, class, politics and social identity. According to the official description: “While grappling with tremendous personal tragedy, Isabel sets herself on a path of global investigation and discovery. Despite the colossal scope of her project, she finds beauty and bravery while crafting one of the defining American books of our time.”
Tom Quinn, NEON CEO and founder, said in a statement how he and NEON are “humbled” to have Origin among its roster.
“I’ve known Ava for a long time and my love and admiration for her and her work goes back further, even before Middle of Nowhere. I’m truly humbled that it is this movie which has finally brought us together. She has always been a gifted storyteller, and her mastery of her craft shines through in this deeply personal and inspired adaptation of Isabel Wilkerson’s book, and dramatization of her remarkable life. Origin proves once again that Ava remains one of the most groundbreaking and essential filmmakers of her generation.”
The film is based on the New York Times Best Seller “Caste: The Origins of our Discontents “by Wilkerson and also stars Jon Bernthal, Vera Farmiga, Audra McDonald, Victoria Pedretti, Niecy Nash-Betts, Nick Offerman and Blair Underwood with Finn Wittrock, Jasmine Cephas-Jones and Connie Nielsen. The film is written and directed by DuVernay and produced by DuVernay and Paul Garnes via DuVernay’s ARRAY Filmworks banner.
No date has yet been released regarding when it will be distributed widely to theaters, or on which streaming services it may be available.