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