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Barry Jenkins to direct film about choreographer Alvin Ailey

June 3, 2019
FILE - In a Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019 file photo, Barry Jenkins accepts the award for best director for "If Beale Street Could Talk" at the 34th Film Independent Spirit Awards, in Santa Monica, Calif. Barry Jenkins will direct a film based on the life of choreographer Alvin Ailey. A spokesperson for Fox Searchlight on Monday, June 3, 2019 confirmed that the studio is developing the project, with the “Moonlight” filmmaker directing. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)
FILE - In a Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019 file photo, Barry Jenkins accepts the award for best director for "If Beale Street Could Talk" at the 34th Film Independent Spirit Awards, in Santa Monica, Calif. Barry Jenkins will direct a film based on the life of choreographer Alvin Ailey. A spokesperson for Fox Searchlight on Monday, June 3, 2019 confirmed that the studio is developing the project, with the “Moonlight” filmmaker directing. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — Barry Jenkins will direct a film based on the life of choreographer Alvin Ailey.

A spokesperson for Fox Searchlight on Monday confirmed that the studio is developing the project, with the “Moonlight” filmmaker directing. Jenkins last helmed the Oscar-nominated James Baldwin adaptation “If Beale Street Could Talk.”

Raised in segregated rural Texas, Ailey became a pioneering choreographer, dancer and director who helped popularize modern dance. He died in 1989 at the age of 58 from AIDS-related complications. In 2014, President Barack Obama awarded him a posthumous Presidential Medal of Freedom.

The film will be partly based on Jennifer Dunning’s biography “Alvin Ailey: A Life in Dance.” Searchlight last year began developing the film after securing the rights to Ailey’s choreography from the Ailey Organization.

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