A24’s Moonlight, directed by Barry Jenkins, will open the 11th Rome Film Festival October 13. The chronicle of a young black man from childhood to adulthood in a rough neighborhood of Miami played to good notices at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, and will open theatrically October 21.

Moonlight is an extraordinary film, at the same time powerful and tender, realistic and poetic,” said the Rome fest’s artistic director Antonio Monda. “It is a great honor to open the Rome Film Fest with such a work of art. This is a film destined to go a long and successful way and which will stay in our hearts; it also confirms the great, genuine talent of Barry Jenkins.”

The fest will be held from October 13 to 23, produced by the Fondazione Cinema per Roma and chaired by Piera Detassis.

The film stars Mahershala Ali, Naomie Harris, Trevante Rhodes, André Holland and Janelle Monáe. In Toronto, Harris told Deadline, “When I read the script it broke my heart. It spoke to me, and it has incredible, universal themes about love and identity. It just speaks to everybody’s search for belonging, and that’s why it’s managing to break through people’s sense of identity about race or what have you, and just touch people’s hearts.”

Moonlight is A24’s first fully financed production and the company controls worldwide rights.