“If Beale Street Can Talk” Oscar-winning actress Regina King made history as the first black female director to have a film screened at the 77th annual Venice Film Festival.
Describing her directional debut as a make or break moment that could either “open doors or close doors for more black female directors,” King addresses the double standards that are still in place for creators of color, especially women.
“Unfortunately, across the world, that’s how things seem to work. One woman gets a shot and if she does not succeed, it shuts thing down for years until someone else gets a shot,” said King via Zoom at a “One Night in Miami” press conference.
King, 49, had been working on for the past few years.
“I do feel like when you go into something and you want people to leave with a call to arms, call to action or a message — that’s always better received when you do it through an entertaining package,” she says.
King illustrates the film based on former journalist Kemp Powers’ fictional account of a meeting in a hotel room in 1964 between Malcolm X (Kingsley Ben-Adir), Cassius Clay (Eli Goree), Sam Cooke (Leslie Odom Jr.), and Jim Brown (Aldis Hodge).
It seemed as if the release of the film was King’s fate given that one of the essential ideas in the film questions political freedom versus economic freedom. Shooting in November 2019 after getting picked up by Amazon Studios in July, King realized there was a greater urgency to release the film; taking place after the rise of the Black Lives Matter movements and the police brutality killing of George Floyd.
“One Night in Miami” is expected to release by the end of the year.
Amiya Abner is a second-year Broadcast Journalism scholar at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University from Tampa, Florida. As a child, writing and storytelling have always sparked her interest. She currently writes for the university’s award-winning Journey Magazine and Famuan newspaper. Becoming a multimedia journalist and a freelance writer has now become a passion of hers. You can follow Amiya on her Instagram at @_amiya_a and her YouTube Channel, “The Orange Room”.