Barry Jenkins is a film director, producer, and screenwriter. He is 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 as well as Best Adapted Screenplay, which Jenkins shared with co-writer Tarell Alvin McCraney.
Jenkins's 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 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."
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. Overall, the film received eight Oscar nominations, including Best Director.
In 2017, Jenkins directed the fifth episode of the Netflix original series, "Dear White People."
Barry followed Moonlight with If Beale Street Could Talk, an adaptation to the James Baldwin novel, starring Kiki Layne, Stephan James and Regina King. The film was produced by Annapurna Pictures and premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival to widespread critical acclaim. If Beale Street Could Talk received two BAFTA nominations, two Golden Globe nominations and three Academy Award nominations, including a Best Adapted Screenplay nomination for Jenkins.
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