Mo'Nique owes part of her Oscar to "two white people from Colorado" -- Sarah Siegel-Magness and Gary Magness

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

Last night's Academy Awards ceremony offered big ups to some local filmmakers.

Boulder-based director Louie Psihoyos won Best Documentary Feature honors for his dolphin-killing exposé The Cove -- although producer Fisher Stevens used up all Psihoyos's spotlight time on the broadcast with thank-yous of his own. (The show's supervisors rigorously enforced a modest time limit for acceptance speeches ... except the really famous people.) And Precious: Based on the Novel "Push" by Sapphire, produced by Denverites Sarah Siegel-Magness and Gary Magness, which opened this year's Starz Denver Film Festival, earned two baubles: Best Adapted Screenplay for Geoffrey Fletcher and Best Supporting Actress for Mo'Nique's astonishing performance as the monster-mother of all time.

Unfortunately, Siegel-Magness and Gary Magness didn't get a chance to speak last night -- but they more than made up for it during Friday's Independent Spirit Awards, where Precious was named best feature -- and where Sarah winningly referenced their status as Colorado Caucasians.

After Prescious's win was announced -- by Ben Stiller, who read the names of nominees while two women and a man mimed porn moves in the background -- director Lee Daniels briefly took the microphone before handing it over to Siegel-Magness, who quickly addressed her paleness, and that of husband Gary, in comparison with other cast- and crew-members on the stage.

She said it might be strange to think that "two white people from Colorado" would be so passionate about bringing a story of an abused African-American teenager to the screen -- a confession that deservedly earned a big laugh from the mostly white audience. However, she went on, the people who'd put together Precious were the most talented with whom she'd ever had the privilege to work.

Clearly, Siegel-Magness hasn't let her skin color hold her back. Watch a clip of the acceptance speech at SpiritAwards.com.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.