Origin Wins SOFEE
The Critics Choice Association (CCA) Women’s Committee is pleased to announce that “Origin” (Neon) will receive the Seal of Female Empowerment in Entertainment. Called the “SOFEE,” the Seal recognizes outstanding new films and television series that illuminate the female experience and perspective through authentically told female-driven stories.
Written, directed and produced by Ava DuVernay, “Origin” is a true story centering around Pulitzer Prize-winning author Isabel Wilkerson (Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor). While mourning the deaths of the two most important people in her life, Wilkerson searches for a collective impetus behind the killing of Trayvon Martin, the Holocaust, and the subjugation of the Dalit people in India. Weaving personal moments from Wilkerson’s own experiences of loss and self-discovery with heart-wrenching stories from her book, Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents, “Origin” is a stunning medley of biopic, meditation on grief, and revelation on caste across societies.
“I share this honor with the brilliant women who worked alongside me to make ‘Origin’ and amplify this story of justice, humanity and dignity,” said DuVernay. “From my executive producers Laurene Powell Jobs, Melinda Gates, Anne Wojcicki, Kimberly Steward, Regina Miller, Cheryl Miller and Tilane Jones to our cast led by Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor, I extend my heartfelt gratitude to the Critics Choice Association for this recognition of our work.”
“‘Origin’ is a remarkable, eye-opening drama that leaves audiences empowered with knowledge,” said Tara McNamara, Chair of the CCA Women’s Committee. “Ava DuVernay transforms academic findings into emotional entertainment, allowing audiences to walk in Wilkerson’s shoes as she navigates her life’s tragedies while identifying the connections between oppression of populations throughout history.”
The film, releasing in theaters on Jan. 19, received a 10 out of 10 in the numerical formula that is used to determine if new titles, nominated by CCA Women’s Committee members, are eligible for a SOFEE. Qualifying projects will have a prominent female character arc, give female characters at least equal screen time to male characters, have female leaders behind the scenes, and pass elements highlighted in the Bechdel test. To be considered, new film and television releases must possess an artistic and storytelling value and exceptionality, and score at least 7 out of a possible 10 points in the SOFEE rubric, which can be found at CriticsChoice.com.
The Seal of Female Empowerment in Entertainment is issued by the CCA Women’s Committee. Members include Tara McNamara (Chair), Hillary Atkin, Semira Ben-Amor, Christina Birro, Lauren Bradshaw, Jamie Broadnax, TJ Callahan, Catalina Combs, Ashley Dvorkin, Marriska Fernandes, Toni Gonzales, Teri Hart, Susan Kamyab, Destiny Jackson, Emma Loggins, Lilly Liu, Louisa Moore, Gayl Murphy, Jana Nagase, Mary Murphy, Sherin Nicole, Patricia Puentes, Christina Radish, Amanda Salas, Rachel Smith, Sammi Turano, Lynn Venhaus, Lauren Veneziani, and Federica Volpe, as well as Board member Grae Drake.