Barry Jenkins Named to Time's List of 100 Most Influential People

Moonlight director Barry Jenkins.
Moonlight director Barry Jenkins. Photo by George Martinez
Count Kathryn Bigelow among Barry Jenkins' many fans.

Bigelow, the Oscar-winning director of The Hurt Locker, penned the short but heartfelt praise for Jenkins, who directed the film Moonlight, in Time magazine's 2017 issue "The 100 Most Influential People," in which Jenkins appears alongside icons such as Margaret Atwood, LeBron James, and Pope Francis.

"Barry Jenkins is one of the rare artists who are willing to look into the deeper places of themselves and society in order to provide a lens through which we may discover the humanity at our core," she writes. "And he has come to the attention of the world at precisely the right moment, just when we most need someone to give voice to those who have not been heard."

Time is just the latest entity to lavish praise on Jenkins and his work. The Liberty City native has earned plenty of accolades since the release of his inimitable feature film, most notably at the Oscars in February, when an apparent envelope mixup turned Moonlight's Best Picture win into one of the most memorable awards show moments in history. Amazon recently tapped him to adapt and direct Colson Whitehead's novel The Underground Railroad into a series.
click to enlarge Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney at the 2017 Oscars. - ABC/EDDY CHEN
Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney at the 2017 Oscars.
ABC/Eddy Chen
And outpouring of love for Jenkins isn't slowing, especially in Miami. Earlier this week, Miami-Dade County renamed a Liberty City street "Moonlight Way," honoring the film and its cultural impact. And tomorrow Jenkins will appear with Tarell Alvin McCraney, the renowned Liberty City playwright who wrote the play that Jenkins adapted into Moonlight, at the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center for a ceremony where they'll be honored by Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez and Commissioner Audrey M. Edmonson. The event will mark Jenkins and McCraney's first public appearance together since the Oscars.

Saturday's event will also include a free screening of Moonlight, and a panel discussion with the film's cast and producers.

Moonlight ceremony, panel, and screening
Noon Saturday, April 22, at the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center, 6161 NW 22nd Ave., Miami. RSVP via ahcacmiami.eventbrite.com.
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Ciara LaVelle is New Times' former arts and culture editor. She earned her BS in journalism at Boston University and moved to Florida in 2004. She joined New Times' staff in 2011.
Contact: Ciara LaVelle