Moonlight writer-director Barry Jenkins coming to campus

    If, somehow, you still haven’t seen Moonlight after all the attention it’s gotten – and the pestering from your RTVF friends who keep saying that you ~have~ to watch it – you’ll have no excuse after this weekend.

    A&O, the Contemporary Thought Speaker Series, Inspire Media and Rainbow Alliance will bring Moonlight writer and director Barry Jenkins to campus April 1 for a screening of the film and a discussion. Thomas Bradshaw, an associate professor of Radio, Television, Film, will moderate. The screening will be at 6 p.m. in Tech auditorium, with doors opening at 5 p.m.. Doors will reopen at 7:50 p.m. for students who want to attend the discussion but not the screening.

    Based on In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue, a theater work by Tarell Alvin McCraney, Moonlight follows Chiron (played by Trevante Rhodes, Ashton Sanders and Alex Hibbert in three chapters) as he grows up in the Liberty City neighborhood of Miami. Chiron grapples with race, sexuality and identity as he comes of age, with the help of his mentor Juan (played by Mahershala Ali in an Oscar-winning performance) and Juan’s girlfriend Teresa (played by Janelle Monáe).

    With a budget of $1.5 million, Moonlight overcame obstacles to become one of the most talked about films of 2016. It’s been lauded for its Black, queer protagonist, along with its writing, direction, cinematography and music. It garnered much recognition during awards season, but most notably, Moonlight won the Oscar for best picture in an upset after La La Land was accidentally given the award. But the film’s win is even notable aside from that, since it’s the first best picture winner with an all-Black cast and the first to feature LGBTQ themes.

    Jenkins, with McCraney, won the Oscar for best adapted screenplay for Moonlight, his second feature film after 2008’sMedicine for Melancholy. Like Chiron, he also grew up in Liberty City. Bradshaw, also an acclaimed playwright, received a Guggenheim fellowship in 2009 and was recognized with a critic’s pick from The New York Times for his playThe Bereaved.

    Free tickets will be available for undergraduate students in waves starting 10 a.m. tomorrow at the Norris box office. Future distribution times will be announced on Facebook.

    Editor's Note: This story has been updated to include more information about the time of the event. These changes were made at 9:15 p.m., March 28.


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