Barry Jenkins


Barry Jenkins is an American film director, producer, and screenwriter who has made a significant impact on the film industry with his unique storytelling style. He has won numerous awards for his work, including an Academy Award for Best Picture for his film Moonlight. In this blog post, we will explore the award-winning career of Barry Jenkins, from his early beginnings to his latest project, The Underground Railroad.

Early Beginnings

Barry Jenkins

Barry Jenkins was born on November 19, 1979, in Miami, Florida. He grew up in a housing project, where he was exposed to a diverse range of cultures and experiences. Jenkins attended Florida State University, where he studied film and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. After college, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in the film industry.

His first feature film, Medicine for Melancholy, premiered at the 2008 South by Southwest Film Festival and received critical acclaim. The film explores the relationship between two African American twenty-somethings in San Francisco and touches on issues of gentrification and race. The success of the film led to Jenkins being recognized as a rising talent in the film industry.


Moonlight is a coming-of-age drama film that follows the life of a young African American man named Chiron. The film is divided into three chapters, each depicting a different stage in Chiron’s life. Moonlight won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 2017, making Jenkins the first black filmmaker to win the award. The film also won Best Supporting Actor for Mahershala Ali and Best Adapted Screenplay for Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney.

Moonlight received critical acclaim for its portrayal of the black experience and its exploration of themes such as identity, masculinity, and sexuality. The film’s success cemented Jenkins’ status as a prominent filmmaker and brought attention to the stories of marginalized communities.

The Underground Railroad

The Underground Railroad is a limited series on Amazon Prime Video, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name by Colson Whitehead. The series follows the journey of a young enslaved woman named Cora as she escapes from a Georgia plantation and travels through the Underground Railroad, a network of secret routes and safe houses used by slaves to escape to freedom.

The series has received critical acclaim for its powerful storytelling and stunning visuals. Jenkins has been praised for his direction and his ability to bring the novel to life on screen. The Underground Railroad has been nominated for several awards, including the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Limited or Anthology Series.

Awards and Recognition

Barry Jenkins has won numerous awards for his work in the film industry. In addition to the Academy Award for Best Picture for Moonlight, he has also won the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Drama, the Independent Spirit Award for Best Director, and the National Board of Review Award for Best Director, among others.

Jenkins’ work has been recognized for its portrayal of marginalized communities and its ability to shed light on important social issues. He has become a prominent voice in the film industry, using his platform to advocate for diversity and inclusion in Hollywood.

Personal Life

Barry Jenkins is openly gay and has been in a relationship with producer and writer Lulu Wang since 2019. He has spoken about the challenges of being a black, gay filmmaker in Hollywood and the importance of representation in the film industry.

Jenkins’ personal life and experiences have influenced his work and his commitment to telling stories that are often overlooked in mainstream media. His dedication to diversity and inclusion has made him a role model for aspiring filmmakers and a trailblazer in the film industry.

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