Moonlight, which screened in the Main Slate of the 54th New York Film Festival, continues to impress audiences everywhere, recently garnering eight Oscar nominations, including Best Picture. Divided into three segments, the film unfolds across the childhood, adolescence, and adulthood of a gay African-American man from Miami, as he deals with his mother’s addiction, his hidden sexuality, and an all around lack of familial stability from a young age.

This Q&A was part of our series Illuminating Moonlight, which also included Jenkins’s first feature, Medicine for Melancholy, as well as a selection of films that Jenkins himself cited as influences on the making of Moonlight. Following the screening, he joined the Film Society’s Michael Koresky for an insightful Q&A. The two discussed why it was imperative for this story to be told in Miami, the quality that was needed for all three actors to play Chiron, the surprising place he went to write the screenplay, and why he is never beholden to a script. To hear more about the making of Moonlight, listen to our podcast episode with Jenkins and his team here.

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