With the Toronto International Film Festival kicking off this week, a bit of news has dropped today. TIFF will be adding to its lineup a Gala Presentation of Origin from Ava DuVernay. Starring Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor, DuVernay writes and directs. This adds to the festival’s roster another potential Oscar player, which is never a bad thing. More below.
Here is the TIFF press release:
TIFF CEO, Cameron Bailey, is excited to announce that filmmaker Ava DuVernay will return to TIFF with her latest offering, Origin. DuVernay’s film will have a Gala screening at Roy Thomson Hall on Monday, September 11th. DuVernay will be in attendance.
Written, produced, and directed by Academy Award nominee Ava DuVernay, Origin chronicles the remarkable life and work of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Isabel Wilkerson (played by Academy Award 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.
“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 Bailey, “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.”
Paul Garnes and DuVernay produced Origin under her ARRAY Filmworks banner, and Thane Watkins serves as co-executive producer.
Along with Aunjanue 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. 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.