Academy Award-winning Barry Jenkins took the stage and charmed the audience on day 3 of SXSW as a keynote speaker. He shared very personal stories about his journey to becoming the acclaimed director he is today. From growing up with a mother addicted to crack cocaine to his undying adoration for Die Hard to making his awards season opus Moonlight, Jenkins’ experience has sculpted his career as a storyteller and filmmaker. But before he shared his inspiring stories and truth, he did something he has never done before: shared his Oscars acceptance speech that he would’ve read after winning Best Picture for Moonlight.
Last year’s Academy Award snafu has cemented itself as one of the most notable moments in the ceremony’s history. After Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway mistakenly read La La Land as the winner, it may have been a meme-worthy, clutch-your-pearls moment worthy of headline-making clickbait, but it ultimately eclipsed Jenkins’ win, denying the Moonlight team its moment of glory.
Having premiered his first feature Medicine for Melancholy at SXSW 10 years ago, there was something poetically symmetric about him sharing this speech. He calls the fest “the birth of Barry Jenkins the filmmaker.” He walked out on stage and after admitting he was still reeling from losing an hour of sleep to Daylight Savings Time, said he wanted to read something to the audience — not revealing to us that it was his Oscars acceptance speech. Here’s what he read: