8th Feb 17 | Entertainment News
A chance meeting with Brad Pitt led to Barry Jenkins securing the backing he needed to make his Oscar nominated movie Moonlight.
Over the past decade Pitt has increasingly moved into production with his company Plan B Entertainment, backing films including Selma and 12 Years A Slave.
In 2013, Jenkins was working at Colorado's Telluride Film Festival while struggling to finance Moonlight, a coming-of-age story based on an unproduced play by Tarell Alvin McCraney. It was there that the 37-year-old filmmaker was chosen to compere a Q&A with Pitt and 12 Years A Slave's director Steve McQueen.
In an interview with The Guardian, Jenkins says his hosting duties allowed him to conduct the "sweetest ambush" on Pitt, after he secured an invitation to dinner with the star and Plan B executives.
"I was so damn naive I didn't realise a company like Plan B would be interested," he explained to the publication. "I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed."
In September last year (16) Jenkins was attending Moonlight's own Telluride premiere, an event he describes as being like "an out-of-body experience".
"I didn't believe it until I was actually up on stage introducing my own film," he added. "I was standing in my dreams."
The film, starring Naomie Harris, Janelle Monae and Mahershala Ali, has received rave reviews and is in the running for eight Oscars, including nods for Best Director and Best Picture.
"I did have reservations," Jenkins admitted about taking on the project, about a gay man's struggle to find his place in the world. "Can I, as a straight man, really tell this story fully - in the way it needs to be told? But I approached this as an ally. Tarell is very openly gay and I felt like if I preserved his voice it would at least pass the smell test."
In addition to its multiple Oscar nominations, Moonlight also took home the Best Motion Picture - Drama prize at the Golden Globe Awards.
not mine.credit and source: TV3