During his keynote speech at SXSW, Barry Jenkins took to the stage and discussed his beginnings, Moonlight and post-Moonlight, which included reading a part of the speech he would have given if the infamous Moonlight/La La Land flub hadn’t happened at the 2017 Oscars.
The speech was also posted in a THR article. Jenkins said, “Best picture is a producer’s award, so I didn’t plan to say much. Given the possibility of going up for adapted screenplay, I assumed there was a chance I wouldn’t speak at all, that I would have already said my piece. The plan was to have Adele Romanski speak first, then Jeremy Kleiner and, finally, briefly, myself. I planned to keep it personal, repeating and evolving a story I’ve told throughout the season.”
Part of the speech would have read:
Tarell and I are Chiron. We are that boy. And when you watch Moonlight, you don’t assume a boy who grew up how and where we did would grow up and make a piece of art that wins an Academy Award — certainly don’t think he would grow up to win Best Picture. I’ve said that a lot and what I’ve had to admit is that I placed those limitations on myself. I denied myself that dream — not you, not anyone else — me. And so, to anyone watching this who sees themselves in us, let this be a symbol, a reflection that leads you to love yourself. Because doing so may be the difference between dreaming at all and somehow, through the Academy’s grace, realizing dreams you never allowed yourself to have.
During the rest of the keynote, Jenkins talked about a bit of everything from his love of Die Hard, to switching from studying creative writing to film and much more.
You can watch part of Jenkins’ keynote below:
His next feature, a film adaptation of James Baldwin’s If Beale Street Could Talk, starring Kiki Layne, Stephan James, Regina King, Teyonah Parris can be expected later this year.