The Film That Lit My Fuse is a Deadline video series that aims to provide an antidote to headlines about industry uncertainty by swinging the conversation back to the creative ambitions, formative influences and inspirations of some of today’s great screen artists.
Every installment asks the same five questions. Today’s subject is Barry Jenkins, whose Amazon Studios miniseries The Underground Railroad is nominated for seven Prime Time Emmy Awards. Jenkins directed and was showrunner/EP on all ten episodes. He wrote four of them. Jenkins grew up in Miami and studied film at Florida State University. After making his debut with the short film My Josephine, Jenkins made his feature directorial debut on Medicine for Melancholy and got Spirit Award nominated for Best First Feature. It took eight years for him to direct his second film, but it was worth the wait. Moonlight won the Best Picture Oscar (after a momentary mix-up) and Jenkins shared Best Adapted Screenplay with Tarell Alvin McCraney. It put Jenkins squarely on the A-list. His follow up film, If Beale Street Could Talk, got him a screenplay Oscar nomination for adapting the James Baldwin novel, and the film saw Regina King win the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.
Here, he describes the films that helped spark a great career.
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