‘If Beale Street Could Talk’: Barry Jenkins on How Women Helped Build Big Spirit Wins

IndieWire | 2/23/2019 | Staff
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At Saturday afternoon’s Film Independent Spirit Awards, Barry Jenkins took home the Best Director Prize for his work on “If Beale Street Could Talk.” In his gracious acceptance speech, the filmmaker saluted not only the women who worked on the screen adaptation of James Baldwin’s novel, but his fellow nominees.

“I didn’t want to win this damn award. With everything going on in the world, it just feels strange to be up here,” Jenkins said, before reiterating a message that fellow “Beale Street” winner Regina King delivered after her recent Golden Globes win.

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The film took home wins for Best Feature, Best Director, and Best Supporting Female. Jenkins described how he knew the film would not have succeeded without strong female perspectives.

“I had to check my directorial ego and learn,” Jenkins added. “I cannot make a movie about women without women’s voices at the forefront.”

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“She said something very wise and very true. Women only make up four percent of studio directors and yet they make up 44 percent of the directors of the competition at Sundance and make up 60 percent who are nominated for this award,” Jenkins said. “If even just 30 percent of us agreed with Regina to, within the next 18 months, to...
(Excerpt) Read more at: IndieWire
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