Barry Jenkins was born and raised in Miami, FL. A Florida State University graduate, Jenkins’s feature film debut, Medicine For Melancholy, was hailed as one of the best films by The New York Times and received several Independent Spirit and Gotham Award nominations.
Jenkins’s second feature film, Moonlight, won dozens of awards, including the Academy Award for Best Picture. Jenkins and co-writer Tarell Alvin McCraney also won Best Adapted Screenplay. Overall, the film received eight Oscar nominations, including Best Director. Additional accolades include, Best Picture at the Golden Globes, Best Picture and Director at the Gotham Awards and Best International Film by the British Independent Film Awards. Jenkins is the recipient of a DGA Best Director nomination and a WGA nomination for Best Original Screenplay.
Jenkins’s follow-up, If Beale Street Could Talk, the adaptation of James Baldwin’s novel was released to critical acclaim and garnered numerous accolades, including Best Supporting Actress wins for Regina King at the Academy Awards and Golden Globes. Jenkins received an Academy Award nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay. The film won Best Feature and Jenkins won Best Director at the Independent Spirit Awards.
Jenkins directed the miniseries adaptation of National Book Award winner Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad for Amazon which garnered widespread acclaim, earning seven Emmy nominations, including Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series. The series also earned Barry the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Movies for Television and Limited Series as well as the Golden Globe for Best Limited Series, Anthology Series or Television Motion Picture.
Jenkins was recently tapped to helm the eagerly-awaited Lion King prequel for Disney, which will be voiced by Kelvin Harrison Jr. and Aaron Pierre, who starred in Jenkins’ Underground Railroad series.
Jenkins, who currently resides in Los Angeles, is a curator at the Telluride Film Festival and a United States Artists Smith Fellow.