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In celebration of what would have been author James Baldwin’s 94th birthday, director Barry Jenkins unveiled the teaser trailer for his latest film, an adaptation of Baldwin’s 1974 novel, If Beale Street Could Talk.
The Annapurna Pictures film adaptation, to be released this fall, is the writer-director’s first film since his Oscar-winning Moonlight.
In Beale Street, Stephan James stars as Alonzo “Fonny” Hunt, a black man living in 1970s Harlem falsely accused of rape. The Shots Fired actor previously portrayed Olympic medalist Jesse Owens in Race (2016).
Newcomer Kiki Layne stars opposite James as his pregnant fiancee, Clementine “Tish” Rivers, who races to prove Fonny’s innocence.
Regina King and Colman Domingo star as Tish’s parents, alongside Atlanta star Brian Tyree Henry, Pedro Pascal, Diego Luna and Dave Franco.
Beale Street will have its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival in September, bypassing Venice and Telluride.
Race plays a key role in many of Baldwin’s works, including Beale Street.
“There are days when you wonder what your role is in this country and what your future is in it,” Baldwin says in a sound bite featured in the teaser trailer. “This is one of them.”
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Tracee Ellis Ross