Ava DuVernays Origin Set For Gala Presentation At TIFF

Ava DuVernay’s Origin, the first film by an African American woman to play in Competition at the Venice Film Festival, will have a Gala screening at Roy Thomson Hall at TIFF on Monday, September 11. DuVernay will be in attendance for the screening of the film, which she wrote, produced and directed.

Origin chronicles the remarkable life and work of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Isabel Wilkerson, played by Oscar nominee Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor, as she investigates the genesis of injustice and uncovers a hidden truth that affects us all. Origin stands as a unique account of the intimacy within a writer’s quest for truth. DuVernay creates powerful cinematic images from the stories that Wilkerson brought to light in her non-fiction work Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents, as well as the tragic moments of her personal life which framed her writing. It results in a deeply moving portrait of grief and healing — both personally and in the world. 

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“Ava DuVernay’s Origin is a brilliantly crafted showcase of her talent as a writer, producer, and director. This is audacious filmmaking on a grand, global scale,” said TIFF CEO Cameron Bailey, who made the announcement Monday. “DuVernay deftly weaves Isabel Wilkerson’s big idea about how we live into a beautiful narrative of passion and discovery. I can’t wait for Toronto audiences to feel its power.” 

 Along with Ellis-Taylor and Jon Bernthal, Origin stars Niecy Nash-Betts, Vera Farmiga, Audra McDonald, Nick Offerman, Blair Underwood, Connie Nielsen, Emily Yancy, Jasmine Cephas Jones, Finn Wittrock, Victoria Pedretti, Isha Blaaker, and Myles Frost.

Paul Garnes and DuVernay produced Origin under her ARRAY Filmworks banner, and Thane Watkins serves as co-executive producer. The team of artists behind Origin was led by cinematographer Matthew J. Lloyd, ASC, production designer Ina Mayhew, editor Spencer Averick A.C.E, composer Kris Bowers, costume designer Dominique Dawson, and casting director Aisha Coley. 

The 48th annual Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 7-17. Tickets are on sale now for the Origin screening. Check tiff.net for more information.

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