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'Get Out' Takes Top Prize at Independent Spirit Awards, Peele Wins Oscar for Best Screenplay

Filmmaker Jordan Peele thanked his mother "who taught me to love, even in the face of hate."

Producer and Director Jordan Peele accepts the Best Feature Award at the Independent Spirit Awards accompanied by the cast of his film "Get Out." / REUTERS

"Get Out," a horror thriller that examines U.S. race relations, won Best Feature on Saturday at the Independent Spirit Awards.


The film, presented by Comcast Corp's (No. 19 on the DiversityInc Top 50 Companies list) Universal Pictures, is the directorial debut of comedian Jordan Peele who also wrote the screenplay.

"This means so much," Peele said accepting the Best Feature award.

"We are in the beginning of a renaissance right now, where stories from the outsider ... are being honored and recognized and celebrated," Peele added.

He also won Best Director at the annual awards that recognize the year's best independent achievements made on small budgets.

Director Spike Lee presented him with the award.

"Getting this award from Spike is crazy — let's make no mistake, I would not be standing here if it wasn't for this man," Peele said.

"I recently reached out to him about a project. He told me 'I saw 'Get Out' last week in a Black crowd and I'm seeing it tonight in a white crowd."

Peele called that getting the "full experience."

"I love you, man," He said to Lee.

"This project didn't start as a statement," he continued, "it began as me wanting to make a film in my favorite genre."

"Get Out," which tells the story of a young Black man who visits his white girlfriend's family as a racial satire was a box office juggernaut grossing $176 million at U.S. and Canadian theaters.

The film earned four 2018 Oscar nominations, including best picture, best director, best original screenplay and best actor for Daniel Kaluuya.

The last four winners of the Spirit Awards' top prize — "Moonlight,""Spotlight,""Birdman" and"12 Years a Slave" — all went on to win the Best Picture Oscar. But Guillermo del Toro's "Shape of Water" received the award at the 90th Academy Awards ceremony Sunday night.

Peele took home the award for Best Original Screenplay for "Get Out." He made history as the first Black screenwriter to win in the category.

"I stopped writing this movie about 20 times because I thought it was impossible. I thought it wasn't going to work," Peele said in his acceptance speech. "I thought no one would ever make this movie. I kept coming back to it because I knew if someone let me make this movie, people would hear it and people would see it."

He thanked his wife, mother and also audiences for the film's success.

"My wife who supported me through this whole process," he began, "My mother, who taught me to love, even in the face of hate. And to everyone who went and saw this movie, everybody who bought a ticket, who told somebody to buy a ticket, thank you. I love you for shouting out at the theater, for shouting out at the screen. Let's keep going."

Watch the Peele's acceptance speech:

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First Congo Church Vows to Stop Calling The Police On Black People

Are we being punk'd, and can they stop calling their church First Congo?

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In an odd attempt at solidarity, First Congregational Church located in Oakland, Calif., and also known "First Congo Church" *side eye* has vowed to stop calling the cops on Black people.

The church's leader, Nichola Torbett, stated: "One of the things that gets lost in Christianity in this country often is how Jesus was positioned in the society that he lived in. He was part of an occupied nation, a colonized people. A brown-skinned man, who was surveilled, targeted, harassed, finally arrested, beaten, and killed by state forces."

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