IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK to Premiere at Harlem's Apollo Theater During New York Film Festival

IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK to Premiere at Harlem's Apollo Theater During New York Film Festival

Barry Jenkins' feature film adaptation of James Baldwin's 1974 novel "If Beale Street Could Talk" will have its US premiere at Harlem's Apollo Theater as part of the 56th New York Film Festival, presented by the Film Society of Lincoln Center. This marks the first time that the festival will present a screening at the historic theater.

Based on the novel by James Baldwin, If Beale Street Could Talk is the story of Tish, a newly engaged Harlem woman who races against the clock to prove her lover's innocence while carrying their first-born child to term. It is a celebration of love told through the story of a young couple, their families and their lives, trying to bring about justice through love, for love and the promise of the American dream.

On Tuesday, October 9th, writer-director Barry Jenkins will join his cast including KiKi Layne, Stephan James, Regina King, Colman Domingo and others at Harlem's landmark Apollo Theater.

"It's been an honor working with the estate to bring this piece of James Baldwin's legacy to the screen." said writer/director Barry Jenkins. "From the birthplace of Baldwin to the streets and homes within which we made this film, the honor is doubly felt in the NYFF's generous offer to widen its borders for our US premiere: up on 125th Street, in the community Jimmy forever knew as HOME."

Author James Baldwin was born at Harlem Hospital on August 2, 1924. He spent much time throughout his childhood at local libraries in the neighborhood, and at the young age of 13, wrote his first article "Harlem - Then and Now" which was published in his junior high school's magazine.

NYFF Director and Selection Committee Chair Kent Jones said, "We've always wanted to bring the New York Film Festival to more of our city, and I can't imagine a better place to begin, or a better movie to begin with. Barry's adaptation of If Beale Street Could Talk is a brave and passionate film that looks unflinchingly at systematic racism in America. And it is 100% Harlem-based-shot in Harlem and based on a novel by a great American writer who was Harlem-born...so how could we possibly present it anywhere but the Apollo?"

"If Beale Street Could Talk is a timeless work of black love set in Harlem," said Kamilah Forbes, Executive Producer, Apollo Theater. "The Apollo Theater is thrilled to partner with the Film Society of Lincoln Center and Annapurna to premiere this important work in the community in which it was filmed."

If Beale Street Could Talk was shot almost entirely in New York City in the fall of 2017 with production taking place in various Harlem locations. In celebration of the vibrant community and their gracious hospitality and support of the film, Annapurna and the Film Society will be working with the Apollo Theater's community and education outreach programs. Local high school students as well as Harlem residents will be invited to join the festivities and be among the first audiences to see this Harlem love story unfold on the big screen, in the neighborhood that is home to its characters.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of NYFF

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