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Writer & Director, "Moonlight"

Speaker Snapshot
  • Received the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for the critically acclaimed film "Moonlight," which he co-wrote and directed
  • Named one of TIME magazine's "100 Most Influential People" of 2017
  • Curator at the Telluride Film Festival and a United States Artists Smith Fellow
  • Received widespread praise for his debut independent feature "Medicine for Melancholy" (2008)
Biography
Writer & Director, "Moonlight"

Barry Jenkins is a writer, director, and producer who is best known for his widely acclaimed film "Moonlight," which he co-wrote and directed. The film took the award for Best Picture at the 2016 Academy Awards and Golden Globes, and Jenkins received the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, among many others.

He was named one of TIME magazine's "Most Influential People" of 2017 and Fast Company's "Most Creative People" of 2017.

Jenkin’s feature film debut was an independent romantic drama, "Medicine for Melancholy," which was hailed as one of the best films of 2008 by The New York Times and received several Independent Spirit and Gotham Award nominations.

It was eight years before Jenkins released his second film, "Moonlight," a drama set in his hometown of Miami, which was immediately hailed by critics as one of the best films of the year. Indeed "Moonlight" went on to win Best Picture at both the Oscars and the Golden Globes, and Jenkins, along with playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney, received the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. The film earned a total of eight Academy Award nominations, six Golden Globe nominations, ten Broadcast Critics Choice Awards nominations, and four BAFTA nominations, as well as Best Picture and Director at the Gotham Awards and Best International Film by the British Independent Film Awards. Jenkins was also awarded the NYFCC and NBR Best Director Award, Best Director by LAFCA, a DGA Best Director nomination, and the WGA Award for Best Original Screenplay.

Most recently, Jenkins directed an episode of the Netflix Original Series "Dear White People."

Upcoming projects include an adaptation of National Book Award winner Colson Whitehead’s "The Underground Railroad" for television, which he will pen and direct. He’s also writing a script for a coming of age drama based on the life of the first American Female Olympic boxing champ Clarissa “T-Rex” Shields. 

Barry Jenkins was born and raised in Miami, Florida and graduated from Florida State University with a BFA in film. Currently residing in Los Angeles, Jenkins is a curator at the Telluride Film Festival and a United States Artists Smith Fellow.

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