Barry Jenkins

Nominated for Best Director


Director: If Beale Street Could Talk


Based on the novel by James Baldwin, If Beale Street Could Talk is the story of Tish, a newly engaged Harlem woman who races against the clock to prove her lover’s innocence while carrying their first-born child to term. It is a celebration of love told through the story of a young couple, their families and their lives, trying to bring about justice through love, for love and the promise of the American dream.


Academy Award-winner Barry Jenkins was born and raised in Miami, Florida. The Florida State University graduate’s feature film debut, Medicine for Melancholy, was hailed as one of the best films of 2009 by The New York Times and received several Film Independent Spirit Award and Gotham Award nominations.

Mr. Jenkins, along with playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney, received the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for his second feature, Moonlight, which won Best Picture at both the Oscars and the Golden Globes (Drama). In addition to earning eight Academy Award nominations, ten Critics’ Choice Awards nominations, six Golden Globe Award nominations and four BAFTA Award nominations, Moonlight won Best Feature and Director at the Gotham Awards, Best International Film at the British Independent Film Awards and won in each category in which it was nominated at the Film Independent Spirit Awards, taking home six honors including Best Feature, Best Screenplay and Best Director. The New York Film Critics Circle and the National Board of Review named him Best Director, and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association named him Best Director and the film Best Picture. Mr. Jenkins was also the recipient of a DGA Award nomination and the winner of the WGA Award for Best Original Screenplay.

He directed an episode in the first season of the Netflix original series Dear White People. His upcoming projects include an adaptation of National Book Award winner Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad for Amazon, which he will pen and direct. He is 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.