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Ava DuVernay’s ‘Origin’ Amazes Venice Film Festival, Garnering a Nine-Minute Standing Ovation

Perhaps the ultimate sign of adulation in the film industry, standing ovations at festivals – especially the longest ones – often signal future buzz.

The Standing O

This year’s Venice Film Festival has already delivered some doozies. Maestro (starring Bradley Cooper) got a seven-minute standing ovation which lasted as long as the one for Priscilla, Sofia Coppola‘s biopic of the relationship between Elvis Presley and Priscilla Beaulieu. Poor Things, the Emma StoneMark Ruffalo sci-fi fantasy got eight minutes of clap time.

However, Origin, the latest feature from director Ava DuVernay was longer and this is significant for a couple of different reasons.

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Origin: Trailer

Reason #1:

During the press conference at the beginning of the Venice Film Festival, DuVernay announced that she had been previously advised not to submit her work to international film festivals.

“For Black filmmakers, we’re told that people who love films in other parts of the world don’t care about our stories and don’t care about our films … You cannot play international film festivals, no one will come … I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told, ‘Don’t apply to Venice, you won’t get in. It won’t happen.’”

Fortunately, DuVernay brought her ‘A’ game. Origin tells the true story of Isabel Wilkerson, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author who, while researching and writing Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents, undergoes some extremely heavy life changes as she “investigates the genesis of injustice and uncovers a hidden truth that affects us all,” according to the film’s official synopsis.

The film stars Aunjanue Ellis-TaylorJon Bernthal, Niecy Nash-Betts, Vera Farmiga, Audra McDonald, Nick Offerman, Blair Underwood, Connie Nielsen, Emily Yancy, Jasmine Cephas-Jones, Finn Wittock, Victoria Pedretti, Isha Blaaker and Myles Frost.

Reason #2:

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DuVernay is the first Black female director to show at the Venice Film Festival … in 80 years.

She’s also in contention for the Golden Lion Award, the VFF’s highest distinction. It could be yet another high honor alongside her Oscar nominations for Selma (Best Picture, 2014) and 13th (Best Documentary Feature, 2016).

Origin will make its North American debut at the Toronto International Film Festival and is slated for wide release by Neon later this year.

More Like This: Maestro Trailer: Netflix Unveils Bradley Cooper’s Latest Directorial Feat with Carey Mulligan

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