‘If Beale Street Could Talk’ Won Big At the Spirit Awards
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Barry Jenkins’ latest film, If Beale Street Could Talk, took home top honors at the 34th annual Film Independent Spirit Awards.

The film, based on the classic James Baldwin novel, won three awards, including Best Supporting Female for Regina King, Best Director for Jenkins, and night’s biggest award, Best Feature.

During his acceptance speech, Jenkins implored Hollywood to follow King’s lead to include more women in their projects. In her Golden Golden Globe speech, the actor and director declared that everything she creates from now on will include women behind the camera.

“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.

“So, I want to look out at this room, all these producers, all these directors, all these financiers, my reps, all these lawyers and say if even just 30 percent of us agreed with Regina to, within the next 18 months, to produce or finance a film directed by a woman, the 4 percent would become the 8 percent, would become the 12 percent, would become the 16 percent,” he added.

King, who is the front-runner for this year’s Best Supporting Actress Academy Award, said she was “lucky” to be part of Jenkins’ film.

“I have not done a film in almost 10 years and to be here receiving this for such a beautiful piece of art,” she said. “I am up here representing us. If Beale Street Could Talk is a beautiful piece of art that I am so lucky to be a part of. Thank you for celebrating us.”

The Independent Spirit Awards honors films that are made outside of the studio system. In addition to Jenkins and King, director Boots Riley took home the trophy for Best First Feature for his film, Sorry to Bother You.

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