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Barry Jenkins (director)

Barry Jenkins
BarryJenkins WPC.jpg
Jenkins in 2014
Born (1979-11-19) November 19, 1979 (age 37)
Miami, Florida, U.S.
Residence Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Education Miami Northwestern Senior High School
Alma mater Florida State University
Occupation Film director
Years active 2003–present

Barry Jenkins (born November 19, 1979) is an American filmmaker based in Los Angeles. He is widely known for his films Medicine for Melancholy (2008) and Moonlight (2016), the latter of which received massive critical acclaim as well dozens of accolades, including the Golden Globe Award for Best Picture – Drama.[1] The film also received eight Oscar nominations at the 89th Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay for Jenkins.[2]

Early life

Jenkins was born in 1979 in Liberty City, Miami, and has three older 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 studied film at Florida State University in Tallahassee.[3]

Career

2000s: Early work

Jenkins's breakout film was Medicine for Melancholy, a low-budget independent feature released in 2008, starring Wyatt Cenac and Tracey Heggins.[4] The film was well received by critics.[3]

After the success of his previous film, Jenkins wrote an epic for Focus Features about “Stevie Wonder and time travel” and an adaptation to the James Baldwin novel If Beale Street Could Talk, both of which never entered production.[3][5] 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."[3]

2016: Breakthrough with Moonlight

Jenkins directed and wrote the drama Moonlight, his first feature film in eight years.[3] The film was shot in Miami and premiered at the Telluride Film Festival in 2016 to vast critical acclaim and awards "buzz."[6][7] 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."[8] 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."[9] 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..."[10]

The film has since won dozens of accolades, including the Golden Globe Award for Best Picture – Drama.[1] The film also received eight Oscar nominations at the 89th Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay for Jenkins.[11]

2017–present: Future projects

His upcoming projects include a series based on Colson Whitehead's novel The Underground Railroad and a screenplay based on the life of Claressa Shields.[12]

Filmography

Year Title Notes Awards and nominations Ref.
2008 Medicine for Melancholy Director, writer (First feature film) 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
[13]
2016 Moonlight Director, writer (based on In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue by Tarell Alvin McCraney) 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
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
San Francisco Film Critics Circle Award for Best Director
Writers Guild of America Award for Best Original Screenplay
Pending – Academy Award for Best Director
Pending – Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
Pending – Independent Spirit Award for Best Director
Pending – Independent Spirit Award for Best Screenplay
Pending – Independent Spirit Robert Altman Award
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 – 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
[14]

References

  1. ^ a b Berman, Eliza. "'Moonlight' Wins Golden Globe for Best Picture, Drama". TIME.com. Retrieved 2017-01-09. 
  2. ^ O'Falt, Chris. "Crafting "Moonlight": How a $1.5 Million Indie Got 8 Oscar Nominations | IndieWire". www.indiewire.com. Retrieved 2017-02-12. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Stephenson, Will. "Barry Jenkins Slow-Cooks His Masterpiece". The Fader. Retrieved October 22, 2016. 
  4. ^ Scott, A. O. (January 29, 2009). "In Barry Jenkins's First Movie, a Short-Term Romance Leads to Big Questions". The New York Times. Retrieved October 22, 2016. 
  5. ^ Keegan, Rebecca. "To give birth to 'Moonlight,' writer-director Barry Jenkins dug deep into his past". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 27, 2016. 
  6. ^ Hammond, Pete (September 1, 2016). "Telluride Film Festival Lineup: 'Sully', 'La La Land', 'Arrival', 'Bleed For This' & More". Deadline.com. Retrieved September 1, 2016. 
  7. ^ Buchanan, Kyle (October 21, 2016). "Moonlight's Barry Jenkins on Directing One of the Best Films of the Year". Vulture. Retrieved October 22, 2016. 
  8. ^ Scott, A. O. (2016-10-20). "'Moonlight': Is This the Year's Best Movie?". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-01-09. 
  9. ^ Debruge, Peter (2016-09-03). "Film Review: 'Moonlight'". Variety. Retrieved 2017-01-09. 
  10. ^ Sims, David. "'Moonlight' Is a Film of Uncommon Grace". The Atlantic. Retrieved January 12, 2017. 
  11. ^ Opam, Kwame (2017-01-24). "Oscar nominations 2017: Moonlight and La La Land will go head-to-head at the Academy Awards". The Verge. Retrieved 2017-02-05. 
  12. ^ "'Moonlight' Filmmaker Barry Jenkins Will Write Script For Fact-Based Female Boxer Coming-of-Age Drama". Indiewire.com. October 7, 2016. 
  13. ^ "Medicine for Melancholy (2008) | Awards", IMDb.
  14. ^ "Moonlight (I) (2016) | Awards", IMDb.

External links