We’ll never get tired of hearing Barry Jenkins talk about making Moonlight in Miami

So last night Moonlight won “Best Picture – Drama” at the Golden Globes. That’s pretty exciting for Miami. When’s the last time a film portrayed Miami in a way that looks anything like the lives that normal people lead here? And then got nominated for approximately a billion awards?

Director Barry Jenkins and playwright Tarell McCraney both grew up here in Liberty City. The whole film was shot right here in the 305, and most of the child and high school-age actors are local students. That wasn’t easy to pull off, but it mattered to Jenkins and McCraney that this film be as local as it gets.

Here’s Jenkins speaking at a press conference last night after the big win:

“We could have told this story in New Orleans. We could have told it in Atlanta, Georgia, where our budget would have gone much further than Florida, where there are no tax incentives, but Tarell and I are from Miami, so the city – it’s kind of cliche to say it was a character, but it really was a character in this film. And whenever people see this movie, I feel like they come to Miami. They sit down with us, they experience what it’s like to grow up there.”

If you still haven’t seen Moonlight (what are you waiting for?!), you can catch it at O Cinema Wynwood. You can see our interview with Jenkins, McCraney, and some of the local actors here.