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Barry Jenkins’ First Film: Watch the ‘Moonlight’ Helmer’s Soulful Short ‘My Josephine’

The film was written and directed shortly after 9/11.

Barry Jenkins Moonlight

Barry Jenkins, director of “Moonlight”

Daniel Bergeron

Director Barry Jenkins’ second feature film “Moonlight,” about the life of a young black male coming to terms with his environment and sexuality, has garnered widespread critical acclaim and has grossed over $9 million since its release. Before “Moonlight,” Jenkins has only directed one other feature film, but he has also directed a little-seen student film before that. Watch his 2003 short film “My Josephine” below, courtesy of Jenkins and Vimeo. According to Jenkins, it was written and directed shortly after 9/11 and it functions as a reminder to channel “this energy” to create.

READ MORE: ‘Moonlight’ Review: Barry Jenkins Delivers a Mesmerizing Look at Black Life in America

Jenkins’ first film “Medicine for Melancholy” follows the one-day romance between two black twenty-somethings Micah (Wyatt Cenac) and Jo (Tracey Heggins) as they discuss racial identity and gentrification in San Francisco. It premiered at SXSW in 2008 and Jenkins won the Marlon Riggs Award from the San Francisco Film Critics Circle.

Jenkins’ direction in “Moonlight” has received quite a bit of attention from awards groups and critics circles. He has so far received accolades from the Gotham Awards, the New York Film Critics Circle and the National Board of Review.

READ MORE: Barry Jenkins’ ‘Moonlight’ Journey: How the Year’s Great Discovery Became an American Cinema Milestone

“Moonlight” first premiered at this year’s Telluride Film Festival in September. It then went on to screen at the Toronto International Film Festival, the New York Film Festival and others. It’s currently playing nationwide.

MY JOSEPHINE (Dir. Barry Jenkins, 2003, 8min) from Barry Jenkins on Vimeo.

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