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Jenkins in 2009
November 19, 1979 |
Miami, Florida, U.S.
|Residence||Los Angeles, California, U.S.|
|Alma mater||Florida State University|
|Occupation||Film director, screenwriter|
|Notable work||Medicine for Melancholy
Barry Jenkins (born November 19, 1979) is an American film director and writer based in Los Angeles, known for his films Medicine for Melancholy (2008) and Moonlight (2016), the latter of which received dozens of accolades, including the Academy Award for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay, the latter of which Jenkins shared with co-writer Tarell Alvin McCraney.
Jenkins was born in Liberty City, Miami, the youngest of four siblings. His father died when he was 12, and had earlier separated from his mother, believing that Jenkins was not his biological son. During his childhood, Jenkins was raised by another woman in an overcrowded apartment. He attended Miami Northwestern Senior High School, where he played on the school football team. Jenkins later earned a BFA in film from Florida State University in Tallahassee.
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 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 commented, "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.
His upcoming projects include a series based on Colson Whitehead's novel The Underground Railroad, a screenplay based on the life of Claressa Shields, and a film adaptation of James Baldwin's novel If Beale Street Could Talk. The Baldwin project – a script he began writing in Berlin in 2013, the same year he wrote Moonlight – began production in October 2017 with Annapurna Pictures, Pastel and Plan B.
|Year||Title||Role||Awards and nominations||Notes||Ref.|
|2008||Medicine for Melancholy||Director, writer||San Francisco Film Critics Circle Marlon Riggs Award
Nominated—Chicago International Film Festival New Directors Competition
Nominated—Gotham Independent Film Award for Best Breakthrough Director
Nominated—Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature
Nominated—Independent Spirit Someone to Watch Award
Nominated—Los Angeles Film Festival Filmmaker Award for Best Narrative Feature
|First feature film|||
|2016||Moonlight||Director, screenwriter||Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
Austin Film Critics Association Award for Best Director
Chicago International Film Festival Award for Best Narrative Feature
Chicago International Film Festival Audience Choice Award
Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Director
Dallas–Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award for Best Director
Gotham Independent Film Award for Best Screenplay
Independent Spirit Award for Best Director
Independent Spirit Award for Best Screenplay
Independent Spirit Robert Altman Award
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Director
National Board of Review Award for Best Director
National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Director
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Director
Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Director
San Francisco Film Critics Circle Award for Best Director
Writers Guild of America Award for Best Original Screenplay
Nominated– Academy Award for Best Director
Nominated—Critics' Choice Award for Best Director
Nominated—Critics' Choice Award for Best Screenplay
Nominated—Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directing – Feature Film
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Director
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Screenplay
Nominated—London Film Festival Official Competition
Nominated—Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
Nominated—Toronto International Film Festival Platform Prize
Nominated—Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Director
Nominated—Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Original Screenplay
|2017||Dear White People||Director||Television series;
|2018||If Beale Street Could Talk||Director, writer||Filming|
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