DuVernay, Ava DuVernay, Orgin, 16

Ava DuVernay Sponsors Free Tickets For 16-Year-Olds To Watch New Film ‘Origin’

If you’re a 16-year-old in America, Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Ava DuVernay wants you to see her new movie, Origin, Seat16.com reported.

In an effort to make this happen, the director is working to give 10,000 teens across the U.S. free access to see the movie when it premieres in theaters in December. DuVernay launched Seat16.com, a website where supporters can gift $16 to sponsor a teen’s ticket.

Origin, written and directed by the 2018 NAACP Image Award recipient, is inspired by Isabel Wilkerson’s New York Times best-seller Caste. The narrative film follows the storyline of the journalist as she experiences loss and love while exploring the origins of injustice in America.

“I need to make sure [the film] gets to the audience, that it reaches folks, that it’s understood, that it’s interrogated, that it’s shared,” the Emmy-winner said during TEDWomen 2023, according to Good Good Good. “So, I have this crazy idea that I want every 16-year-old in the country to see the film for free if they want.”

DuVernay clung to the storyline of Wilkerson’s book. “I read it three times, and I started to feel really connected to some of the stories and some of the characters the author uses to bring us into this idea she has; this thesis that so much of our oppression is linked,” she shared. “And if we embrace some of the commonalities of our challenges, that there was a way forward. A blueprint to combat some of our social ills.”

According to the donation page, DuVernay has already raised over $50,000 out of her $160,000 starting goal. Good Good Good reported that the donations will be distributed upon the release of the film through DuVernay’s Array Alliance, Inc. As previously reported by BLACK ENTERPRISE, the filmmaker made history with Origin on Sept. 6 and became the first African American woman to be selected in the lineup to compete for the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival.

On Sept. 5, NEON released an official teaser for the film, which stars Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor, Jon Bernthal, Vera Farmiga, Audra McDonald, Niecy Nash-Betts, Nick Offerman and Blair Underwood.