"I tried to put myself in the culture. That can be difficult when, along the way, there's really nothing there to tell you that you belong there," said Justin Simien.
'Dear White People' director Justin Simien was honored at the 30th annual Independent Spirit Awards with the Best First Screenplay award Saturday.
During his acceptance speech, Simien had some simple yet profound things to say about diversity in Hollywood and the importance of having different voices telling stories.
"I started writing this movie some 10 years ago as an impulse because I didn't really see my story out there in the culture," Simien said. "I didn't see myself reflected back at me in the films I love or the stories that resonated for me."
Simien went on to discuss what it took for him to feel like he was a part of the culture and had some advice for other searching for representations of themselves.
Take a look at his speech above and let us know what you think about diverse storytelling in the film industry.