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Ava DuVernay Makes History At Venice Film Festival, Recalls Being Told ‘You Won’t Get In’

It was a full circle moment for Ava DuVernay who made history at the Venice Film Festival this week years after she was told not to apply to the coveted competition since, “You won’t get in.”

“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,” Duvernay explained.
“This is something that we are often told: you cannot play international film festivals, no one will come.”

The “Wrinkle In Time” director continued. “People will not come to the press conferences, people won’t come to the P&I screenings. They will not be interested in selling tickets. You might not even get into this festival, don’t apply.”
“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.’”
Duvernay’s latest film “Origin” stars Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor and Jon Bernthal and is the first film by an African-American woman to compete for the Golden Lion at the Venice International Film Festival. Based on “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents” by Isabel Wilkerson, the film follows the life and work of the Pulitzer Prize-winning author as she investigates the origins of injustice and uncovers a hidden truth that impacts society as a whole.

“This year, something happened that hadn’t happened in eight decades before: an African American woman in competition,” DuVernay said.
“So now that’s a door open that I trust and hope the festival will keep open.”
“Origin” is scheduled for release later this year. Others in the cast include 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.

RELATED CONTENT: Ava DuVernay Creates Largest Hiring Network In The Industry With ‘Array Crew’ Expansion

Source: Black Enterprise

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