Regina King has made her debut as a director with her new movie One Night in Miami! As Entertainment Tonight reports, the project has already been selected to premiere at the 77th Venice Film Festival, and its selection is pretty groundbreaking!
King is the first Black female director featured at Venice Film Festival
King's movie getting chosen to be shown at the Venice Film Festival is a big deal! That's because as Entertainment Tonight shares, it marks the first time a movie by a Black female director has been featured in the festival's lineup. One Night in Miami is based on a play by the same name written by Kemp Powers, a former journalist.
Entertainment Tonight says that the movie "is a fictional account of a real meeting in 1964 between Muhammad Ali (Eli Goree), Malcolm X (Kingsley Ben-Adir), Sam Cooke (Leslie Odom Jr.), and Jim Brown (Aldis Hodge). The four men meet up to discuss their roles in the civil rights movement and the cultural upheaval of the '60s."
King talks about the importance of One Night in Miami doing well
King talked to reporters over Zoom, explaining how there's a lot weighing on the movie's success. That's because One Night in Miami could "open doors or close doors for more Black female directors," depending on how well it does. "Unfortunately, across the world, that’s how things seem to work," she reportedly told Variety. "One woman gets a shot and if she does not succeed, it shuts things down for years until someone else gets a shot."
"I am so grateful for our film to be a part of the festival but I really, really want it to perform well," she continued. "There’s so much talent out there -- so many talented directors -- so if One Night in Miami gets it done here, you’ll get to see a lot more of us." King also shared that the movie— which Amazon had purchased in July— was initially going to be delayed due to the coronavirus. However, due to the Black Lives Matter movement, she realized the importance of releasing it as soon as possible.
"We thought we’d push it back because we didn’t know what the climate of going to theaters would be like," she shared. "And then a couple of months after the pandemic hit, [George Floyd died in police custody], and for all the producers and everyone involved, we were like, 'This needs to come out now.'"
"I feel like fate always had it planned out this way," she went on to say of One Night in Miami, "but maybe we’re lucky and we’re going to have the opportunity to be a piece of art out there that moves the needle in a conversation about transformative change."
Earlier this summer, Michael B. Jordan launched a series of drive-in feature films called A Night at the Drive-In that celebrated multicultural voices in film. Hopefully, One Night in Miami will end up performing well, and create more opportunities for Black voices in the industry— and Black female directors like King— to tell their stories!