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Regina King becomes first Black woman director at Venice Film Festival

This year, Regina King made history at Venice International Film Festival, as she became the first-ever Black female director whose film was screened in the annual event. Her directorial debut One Night in Miami was showcased earlier this week.

King stated that the reception of her film by the critics will either “open doors or close doors for more Black female directors.”

“Unfortunately, across the world, that’s how things seem to work,” she told the outlet. “One woman gets a shot and if she does not succeed, it shuts thing 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 added. “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.”

The film revolves around Kemp Powers’ fictional account of an actual meeting that occurred between Malcolm X, Sam Cooke, Jim Brown and Cassius Clay in 1964 — before he changed his named to Muhammad Ali. Amazon purchased the rights for One Night in Miami in late July and due to the pandemic, the released was delayed. But, because of the death of George Floyd, King chose to release her debut.

“We thought we’d push it back because we didn’t know what the climate of going to theaters would be like, and then a couple of months after the pandemic hit, [George Floyd was killed],” she said. “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, 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,” she added.

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