Moonlight: The small-budget film that is sweeping Hollywood awards
It’s been hailed by critics as diverse film-making at its best, but the director of Moonlight, which has six Golden Globe nominations, says the film is not a response to the #OscarsSoWhite criticism of last year’s award season.
Miami-born filmmaker Barry Jenkins wrote and directed the film, based on a play by Tarell Alvin McCraney, about a young African American boy named Chiron coming to terms with his sexuality as he grows up in a tough Florida neighbourhood.
However, while the shoot took only 25 days, Jenkins says he conceived the project “at least three-and-a-half years ago”.
He explains: “That’s fairly average because it takes a long time for a film to get made.
“So all these movies we have this year – Birth of a Nation, A United Kingdom, Loving, Fences – which are being framed as a reply to the campaign about the lack of diversity in the system, probably began about four years ago.
“So the cry about the lack of voices and representation on our screens actually goes much further back and now films like ours are beginning to surface.”
With a budget of around $5m (£4m), Moonlight has now made twice that figure at the North American box office, and has screened to almost universal acclaim at festivals including Telluride, Toronto and London.