Behind the Scenes

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Barry Jenkins

Barry Jenkins (born November 19, 1979) is an American film director, producer, and screenwriter. He was born in 1979 at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, Florida, the youngest of four siblings, each from a different father. His father separated from his mother while she was pregnant with Jenkins, believing that he was not Jenkins's 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. He made his filmmaking debut with the short film My Josephine. Following an eight-year hiatus from feature filmmaking, Jenkins directed and co-wrote the LGBT-themed independent drama Moonlight (2016), which won numerous accolades, including the Academy Award for Best Picture. 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.