Barry Moore Jenkins
Jenkins in 2009
|Born||November 19, 1979|
Miami, Florida, U.S.
|Alma mater||Florida State University|
Barry Jenkins (born November 19, 1979) is an American film director, producer, and screenwriter. After making his filmmaking debut with the short film My Josephine, he received an Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature for Medicine for Melancholy (2008).
Following an eight-year hiatus from filmmaking, Jenkins directed and co-wrote the LGBT-themed independent drama Moonlight (2016), which won numerous accolades, including the Academy Award for Best Picture. Jenkins received an Oscar nomination for Best Director and jointly won the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay with Tarell Alvin McCraney. He became the fourth black person to be nominated for Best Director and the second black person to direct a Best Picture winner. He released his third directorial feature If Beale Street Could Talk in 2018 to critical praise, and earned nominations for his screenplay at the Academy Awards and Golden Globes.
Jenkins was born in 1979 at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, Florida, the youngest of four siblings, each from a different father. His father had earlier separated from his mother while she was pregnant with Jenkins, believing that he was not the biological father; he died when Jenkins was 12. Jenkins grew up in Liberty City and was primarily raised by another older woman (who had also looked after his mother while she was a teenager) in an overcrowded apartment. He attended Miami Northwestern Senior High School, where he played football and ran track.
Jenkins studied film at the Florida State University College of Motion Picture Arts, where he met many of his future frequent collaborators including cinematographer James Laxton, producer Adele Romanski and editors Nat Sanders and Joi McMillon. Four days after graduating from FSU, Jenkins moved to Los Angeles to pursue a filmmaking career, spending two years working on various projects as a production assistant.
Jenkins debuted on the screen with his 2003 short My Josephine, but his first breakout film was Medicine for Melancholy, a low-budget independent feature released in 2008, starring Wyatt Cenac and Tracey Heggins. The film was well received by critics.
After the success of his previous film, Jenkins wrote an epic for Focus Features about "Stevie Wonder and time travel" and an adaptation of the James Baldwin novel If Beale Street Could Talk, neither of which initially entered production. He later worked as a carpenter and co-founded an advertising company called Strike Anywhere. In 2011, he wrote and directed Remigration, a sci-fi short film about gentrification. Jenkins became a writer for HBO's The Leftovers, about which he said "I didn't get to do much."
Jenkins directed and co-wrote, with Tarell Alvin McCraney, the 2016 drama Moonlight, his first feature film in eight years. The film was shot in Miami and premiered at the Telluride Film Festival in September 2016 to vast critical acclaim and awards buzz. A.O. Scott of The New York Times wrote: "Moonlight dwells on the dignity, beauty and terrible vulnerability of black bodies, on the existential and physical matter of black lives." Variety wrote: "Barry Jenkins' vital portrait of a South Florida youth revisits the character at three stages in his life, offering rich insights into the contemporary African-American experience." David Sims of The Atlantic wrote: "Like all great films, Moonlight is both specific and sweeping. It’s a story about identity—an intelligent, challenging work."
The film won dozens of accolades, including the Golden Globe Award for Best Picture – Drama and the Academy Award for Best Picture at the 89th Academy Awards. Jenkins and McCraney also won Best Adapted Screenplay and overall, the film received eight Oscar nominations, including Best Director.
In 2013, the same year he wrote Moonlight, he wrote a film adaptation of James Baldwin's novel If Beale Street Could Talk. Production began in October 2017 with Annapurna Pictures, Pastel, and Plan B. The film was released in December 2018 to critical acclaim. It garnered numerous accolades, including Best Supporting Actress wins for Regina King at the Academy Awards and Golden Globes. Jenkins received an Academy Award nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay.
Upcoming projects include a series based on Colson Whitehead's novel The Underground Railroad and a screenplay based on the life of Claressa Shields. The main cast of the television adaptation will include Thuso Mbedu as Cora, with Chase W. Dillon as Homer and Aaron Pierre as Caesar. The project was first set up on the heels of Jenkins’ Oscar wins for Moonlight, with Amazon Studios officially ordering it to series in June 2018.
|2008||Medicine for Melancholy||Yes||Yes||No|||
|2018||If Beale Street Could Talk||Yes||Yes||Yes|||
|2020||Charm City Kings||No||co-writer||No|||
|2017||Dear White People||Yes||No||No||Episode: "Chapter V"|||
|TBA||The Underground Railroad||Yes||Yes||Yes||11 Episodes|||
|2008||Independent Spirit Award||Best First Feature||Medicine for Melancholy||Nominated|
|Someone to Watch Award||Nominated|
|2009||Gotham Awards||Breakthrough Director||Nominated|
|2009||Los Angeles Film Festival||Best Narrative Feature||Nominated|
|2009||San Francisco Film Critics Circle||Marlon Riggs Award||Won|
|2009||Chicago International Film Festival||New Directors Competition||Nominated|
|2009||IndieWire Critics Poll||Best First Feature||5th Place|
|2016||Academy Awards||Best Director||Moonlight||Nominated|
|Best Adapted Screenplay||Won|
|2016||Golden Globe Award||Best Director||Nominated|
|2016||British Academy Film Awards||Best Screenplay||Nominated|
|2016||Independent Spirit Award||Best Director||Won|
|Robert Altman Award||Won|
|2016||Gotham Awards||Best Feature||Won|
|2016||IndieWire Critics Poll||Best Director||Won|
|2016||Broadcast Film Critics Award||Best Director||Nominated|
|2016||Directors Guild of America||Directing - Feature Film||Nominated|
|2016||Writers Guild of America||Best Original Screenplay||Won|
|2016||National Board of Review||Best Director||Won|
|2016||National Society of Film Critics||Best Director||Nominated|
|2016||New York Film Critics Circle||Best Director||Won|
|2016||London Film Festival||Official Competition||Nominated|
|2016||Toronto International Film Festival||Platform Prize||Nominated|
|2019||Academy Award||Best Adapted Screenplay||If Beale Street Could Talk||Nominated|
|2019||Golden Globe Award||Best Screenplay||Nominated|
|2019||British Academy Film Award||Best Adapted Screenplay||Nominated|
|2019||Independent Spirit Award||Best Film||Won|
|2019||Gotham Awards||Best Feature||Nominated|
|2019||Broadcast Film Critics Award||Best Adapted Screenplay||Won|
|2019||Writers Guild of America||Best Adapted Screenplay||Nominated|
|2019||National Board of Review||Best Adapted Screenplay||Won|
|2019||Toronto International Film Festival||People's Choice Award||2nd Place|
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