If Beale Street Could Talk


Rafael 2 Sun, Oct 14, 2018 5:00 PM
Simulcast Q&A
Sequoia 2 Sun, Oct 14, 2018 5:00 PM
Film Info
Category:Closing Night
Special Event
Black Is
Section:US Cinema
Running Time:117 min.
Director:Barry Jenkins
Producer:Barry Jenkins
Brad Pitt
Megan Ellison
Screenwriter:Barry Jenkins
Cinematographer:James Laxton
Editor:Joi McMillon
Nat Sanders
Cast:KiKi Layne
Stephan James
Regina King
Dave Franco
Diego Luna
Print Source:Annapurna Pictures
Note Writer:Joe Bowman


In arguably the year’s most anticipated film, Academy Award® winner Barry Jenkins follows his iconic Moonlight (MVFF 2016) with a poetic, astonishingly realized adaptation of James Baldwin’s novel, If Beale Street Could Talk. Diving into the world of 1970s Harlem, Jenkins uses Baldwin’s profound and enlightened look at African American life in the US to express a universal tale of the strengths of love and family in an unjust, imperfect world. Newcomers KiKi Layne (in her first feature film) and Stephan James (Selma) play teenage lovers Tish and Fonny, whose lives are turned upside down when Tish discovers she’s pregnant and Fonny is thrown in jail for a crime he didn’t commit. With the help of her mother, played by multiple Emmy®-winning actress Regina King (American Crime), Tish begins a fight for justice, trying to free her innocent husband from prison. Aunjanue Ellis, Colman Domingo, Dave Franco, Diego Luna, and Pedro Pascal round out the impressive supporting cast.

Expected Guest: Director Barry Jenkins; Talent Kiki Layne (In-Person, Rafael 1 and Sequoia 1)

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Additional Information

Born and raised in Miami, FL, Barry Jenkins graduated from Florida State University. His debut feature, Medicine for Melancholy (2008), received several Independent Spirit and Gotham Award nominations. His second feature, Moonlight (2016), took Best Picture honors at the Oscars® and the Golden Globes, and Jenkins shared a Best Screenplay Academy Award® with playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney. Upcoming projects include an adaptation of Colson Whitehead’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Underground Railroad for television and a drama based on the life of Olympic boxing champ, Clarissa “T-Rex” Shields. Jenkins is a curator at the Telluride Film Festival and a United States Artists Smith Fellow.