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'Moonlight' Director Insists on Shooting James Baldwin Film in Harlem

By Gustavo Solis | October 5, 2017 11:57am
 The award-winning director will film his next project in Harlem throughout October.
The award-winning director will film his next project in Harlem throughout October.
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DNAinfo/Gustavo Solis

HARLEM — Why go to Canada when you can get the real thing right here?

"Moonlight" director Barry Jenkins told community board members Wednesday night that he chose to film locally on his upcoming adaptation of James Baldwin's novel, “If Beale Street Could Talk.”

“Normally, when you do a film like this you can go to Vancouver or Toronto and find a place that looks like Harlem,” Jenkins said, adding air quotes when saying "looks," while speaking at at the Community Board 10 meeting. “But it was the wish of the Baldwin estate and a wish of myself, as a creator, that we do it here in Harlem.”

The movie, which will be shot on Edgecombe Avenue, is based off Baldwin’s 1974 novel about a young couple torn apart when a young man is wrongfully accused of rape.

Jenkins has a reputation for insisting on authentic setting.

"Moonlight," which was based on a coming-of-age play set in Miami and written by Tarell Alvin McCraney, was shot in South Florida.

The crew will be filming in October, said location manager Samson Jacobson, who introduced Jenkins to the board.

“We understand that we are guests in your neighborhood,” Jacobson said.