Throughout her entire career actress Regina King has brought powerful narratives to life on screen and now the California native is taking her artistry to the director’s chair and making history in the process. According to Deadline, King recently became the first Black woman director to premiere a film at the Venice Film Festival.
The film—dubbed One Night In Miami—is King’s directorial debut. The movie, which is inspired by a 2013 play written by Kemp Powers, chronicles a fictional conversation between Muhammad Ali, Malcolm X, Jim Brown and Sam Cooke as the men gathered to celebrate Ali’s win against Sonny Liston on February 25, 1964; ultimately becoming the heavyweight boxing champion of the world. The film’s cast includes actors Leslie Odom Jr., Aldis Hodge, Eli Goree and Kingsley Ben-Adir. The fictional conversation is centered on the fight against racial injustice during the civil rights movement; a topic that is relevant to the current state of society.
“For Black Americans, unfortunately, those conversations were happening 60 years ago and are also happening now,” King said in a statement, according to the news outlet. “When we started filming it, did we know that we’d be in this powder keg moment that we’re in right now? Absolutely not. But the conversations were relevant. It feels like one of those things where it was meant to be, even though our intention was not to have it happen when an uprising is going on in our country. 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 the conversation for real transformative change.”
Its debut at the Venice Film Festival marks the first time in the festival’s 77-year history that a film created by a Black woman has been premiered. King hopes her accomplishment will open the door for other Black women directors and bring more diverse stories to premier film festivals. One Night In Miami is also slated to premiere at the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival.