“My first student film, written/directed shortly after 9/11. A reminder to myself to channel this energy, to create.”
Barry Jenkins (@BandryBarry)
Before Barry Jenkins wrote (with Tarell Alvin McCraney) and directed Moonlight—which won the Oscar last night for Best Picture and for Best Adapted Screenplay—he was a film school student at Florida State University. My Josephine was his first short film. (A good example of Start Small…But Start Somewhere.)
According to The Guardian, while at Florida State his tastes turned toward art house films listing fimmakers from France, China, and Scotland as influences; Claire Denis (Vendredi Soir), Hsiao-Hsien Hou (Three Times), and Lynne Ramsay (Ratcatcher).
According to Florida State News, a total of seven FSU graduates worked on Moonlight.
Four days after graduating from FSU, Jenkins moved to Los Angeles to pursue a filmmaking career. He spent two years working as a production assistant on various projects, then quit to concentrate on his own movies. His first feature, 2008’s ‘Medicine for Melancholy,’ was shot for $13,000 in San Francisco, where Jenkins was living.”
Rene Rodriguez/Miami Herald
Florida State’s film program has a long legacy of turning out talent. So it’s not a total surprise to have an Oscar-winner emerge from that program. (Not sure if that’s the first or not for FSU.) But where Jenkins was before FSU is a little unusual and we’ll look at that tomorrow.