Ava DuVernay’s ‘Origin’ Receives Seal of Female Empowerment in Entertainment (SOFEE)


The Critics Choice Association (CCA) Women’s Committee announced today that Ava DuVernay’s film Origin has been awarded the Seal of Female Empowerment in Entertainment, also known as the SOFEE. The award recognizes outstanding new films and television shows that authentically tell female-driven stories and illuminate the female experience.

SOFEE - Origin

Written, directed, and produced by DuVernay, Origin tells a true story centering around Pulitzer Prize-winning author Isabel Wilkerson (played in the film by Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor). Grieving the losses of the two most important people in her life, Wilkerson embarks on a journey to understand the deeper connecting forces behind tragic events like the killing of Trayvon Martin, the Holocaust, and the oppression of Dalits in India.

Through interweaving intimate glimpses into Wilkerson’s own processing of loss and self-reflection with harrowing tales from her book Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents, Origin transforms into a stunning blend of biographical drama, meditation on mourning, and illumination of hierarchical structures that have spanned 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.”

This recognition comes as Origin prepares for its theatrical release on January 19th, 2024. Take a look at the trailer below.

About the SOFEE

In receiving the SOFEE, Origin passed the CCA’s rigorous criteria, including prominent female characters, equal screen time for women, female leaders behind the scenes, and elements of the Bechdel test. To be eligible, new films and television shows must demonstrate strong artistic merit and quality storytelling, as well as score a minimum of 7 out of 10 points based on the criteria outlined in the SOFEE evaluation process. Further details on the SOFEE assessment guidelines can be found on the Critics Choice Association website at CriticsChoice.com.

The CCA Women’s Committee issues the Seal of Female Empowerment in Entertainment. 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.


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