A little more than 24 years ago, Whit Stillman won the Best First Feature award, at the prestigious Independent Spirit Awards in 1991. A few years prior, Spike Lee won for She’s Gotta Have It, which inspired Stillman on how to make his debut film.
From an IFC interview by Stephen Saito:
Generally, that’s right — but film history doesn’t strictly respect decade divides. I’d put the early “golden age” as the ten years from 1984 – for a lot of us, the artistic and commercial success of Jim Jarmusch’s “Stranger than Paradise” was the big inspiration, followed by Spike Lee’s “She’s Gotta Have It.”