2019 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: presenters announced

March 13, 2019

by Carla Hay

The presenters have been announced for the 34th Annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, presented by Klipsch Audio, which will take place at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, on March 29, 2019.

Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, presenting for The Cure
Brian May of Queen, presenting for Def Leppard
Janelle Monáe, presenting for Janet Jackson
Harry Styles, presenting for Stevie Nicks
David Byrne, presenting for Radiohead
John Taylor and Simon Le Bon of Duran Duran, presenting for Roxy Music
Susanna Hoffs of The Bangles, presenting for The Zombies

The show will have a live radio broadcast on SiriusXM, and HBO will premiere a special televising highlights from the show on April 27 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. The special will also be available on HBO on Demand, HBO Go, HBO Now and partners’ streaming platforms. Exhibits showcasing the new inductees will be on display at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland in conjunction with the induction ceremony.

Performers eligible for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame are those whose first single or first album was released at least 25 years before the artist can be inducted. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame voting members (which number about 1,000 people), as well online voting from the public, determine who will be inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

2019 Grammy Awards: Camila Cabello, Cardi B, Dan + Shay, Post Malone, Shawn Mendes, Janelle Monáe, Kacey Musgraves announced as performers

January 17, 2019

by Carla Hay

Camila Cabello, Cardi B, Dan + Shay, Post Malone, Shawn Mendes, Janelle Monáe and Kacey Musgraves are in the first group of artists announced to perform at the 61st Grammy Awards, which will take place at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on February 10, 2019. As previously announced, Alicia Keys is hosting the show, which will have its U.S. telecast on CBS.

It’s a tradition for most of the artists performing at a Grammy Awards ceremony are those who are nominated for Grammys that year. All of the aforementioned artists have Grammy nominations in 2019. Cabello and Mendes will be performing at the Grammy Awards for the first time.

Cabello’s Grammy nominations this year are for Best Pop Solo Performance for “Havana [Live]” and Best Pop Vocal Album for her solo debut album, “Camila.” Cabello is a former member of Fifth Harmony.

Cardi B has five Grammy nominations this year. Her debut album, “Invasion of Privacy,” is up for Album of the Year and Best Rap Album; “Girls Like You,” her her hit collaboration with Maroon 5, is nominated for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance; her song “I Like It” is one of the contenders for Record of the Year; and her song “Be Careful” is up for Best Rap Performance.

Dan + Shay’s “Tequila” is nominated for Best Country Duo/Group Performance.

Malone has four Grammy nominations: Album of the Year (for “Beerbongs & Bentleys“); his “Better Now” single is up for Best Pop Solo Performance; and his “Rockstar” collaboration with 21 Savage is nominated for Record of the Year and Best Rap/Sung Performance.

Mendes’ self titled album is nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album, while his single “In My Blood” is a contender for Song of the Year.

Monáe has two Grammy nominations this year: “Dirty Computer” is up for Album of the Year, while she has a Best Music Video nod for “PYNK.”

Musgraves received four Grammy nominations this year: “Golden Hour” is up for Album of the Year and Best Country Album; “Butterflies” is nominated for Best Country Solo Performance; and “Space Cowboy” is a contender for Best Country Song.

2018 Global Citizen Festival: Janet Jackson, The Weeknd, Shawn Mendes, Cardi B among performers

August 7, 2018

The following is a press release from Global Citizen:

International advocacy organization Global Citizen today announced that headliners Janet Jackson, The Weeknd, Shawn Mendes, Cardi B, and Janelle Monáe will perform at the 2018 Global Citizen Festival, the free-ticketed event on the Great Lawn in Central Park, New York City on Saturday, September 29, 2018. For the fifth consecutive year, MSNBC & Comcast NBCUniversal will air a live simulcast of the Festival on MSNBC and for the seventh consecutive year, iHeartMedia has been named the exclusive audio media partner.

A special guest performance will be given by John Legend.

Hugh Jackman and Deborra-lee Furness return as lead hosts for the 5th year.

Co-hosts will include Camren Bicondova, Cynthia Erivo, Danai GuriraForest WhitakerGus KenworthyKal Penn, La La Anthony, Naomi Campbell, and Rachel Brosnahan.

The 2018 festival will serve as a platform from which millions of Global Citizens around the world will demand that world leaders fulfill their obligation to achieve the UN Global Goals for Sustainable Development and end extreme poverty by 2030.

Building off momentum by activists and students from across the globe, Global Citizens and music fans will stand together to call on world leaders to uphold their responsibilities towards improving the quality of health care and nutrition that women receive during adolescence and childbirth, ensuring girls do not marry before they are ready, reducing, reusing and recycling plastic waste worldwide, ending the criminalization of poverty, providing quality education for all, and ensuring the United States fully funds its foreign aid budget.

Coinciding with the annual UN General Assembly meetings, this year’s Festival is a continuation of Global Citizen’s “Mandela 100” campaign; a series of global events honoring the life and legacy of Nelson Mandela in his centenary year.

Hugh Evans, CEO of Global Citizen, said, “In 2018, it is more important than ever for Global Citizens here in the United States and around the world to demand their voices be heard – through activism and at the polls – so that we can continue progress towards a world free from needless suffering and want. We are truly grateful to have such incredible artists, hosts and partners standing with us in a moment of history so pivotal in our fight to achieve the global goals and end extreme poverty.”

“We’re incredibly proud to take our support of Global Citizen Festival to the next level as Presenting Partner. As a global bank that is committed to welcoming what’s next, we look forward to helping bring together citizens around the world to stand for issues that matter most and foster meaningful change,” said Jennifer Breithaupt, Global Consumer CMO, Citi

The Weeknd said, “It is invaluable to be in a position where I can use my voice to help the millions of people in need. I am honored to align myself with Global Citizen in the fight to end world poverty.”

Shawn Mendes said, “I’m so excited to be a part of the Global Citizen movement. It’s an honor to be able to use my platform and music to help those in the world who need it most.”

John Legend said, “I’m proud to be supporting Global Citizen again to help focus people’s energy and attention on the issues that matter. I believe we need to look at human beings across the world as our brothers and sisters and do everything we can do to end extreme poverty to make life more livable. We are more powerful when we come together like this.”

Hugh Jackman and Deborra-lee Furness said, “We are thrilled to be returning for this year’s Global Citizen Festival. It is important that we continue to work towards ending extreme poverty. On September 29, tens of thousands of Global Citizens will come together to celebrate being a part of this movement and the impact of their actions, and we cannot wait to be a part of it.”

Camren Bicondova said, “I am beyond honored and thankful to be a host at this year’s Global Citizen Festival, advocating for rising voices and actions taken. Here’s to making the world a better place.”

Cynthia Erivo said, “I am thrilled to join the millions of Global Citizens who are helping to make our world a better place. By joining together to make our voices heard, we can make a meaningful difference in the lives of the world’s poor.”

Forest Whitaker said, “This year, it’s more important than ever that we bring attention to extreme poverty and ask our leaders to take action. I can’t wait to see what we can accomplish at this year’s Global Citizen Festival.”

Gus Kenworthy said, “I believe that if we all speak up and do our part, we can accomplish great things for the world’s poor. I’m excited to support Global Citizen and join a movement that will help put an end to extreme poverty.”

Kal Penn said, “Our voices remain potent and powerful. It is critical that we reject the culture of fear and cynicism, and instead lift up those among us who need our help. That is why I continue to be a proud supporter of Global Citizen and believe that together we can end world poverty.”

La La Anthony said, “Being a part of the Global Citizen movement and helping to end extreme poverty continues to be important to me. I can’t wait to see what commitments we can achieve by September.”

Rachel Brosnahan said, “Global Citizen is about creating a movement and bringing attention to the difficult choices people living in extreme poverty have to face every day. I’m so happy to be back for another year of supporting this organization that unites people all over the world to tackle some of the world’s biggest issues.”

The 2018 Global Citizen Festival will be presented for the first time by Citi. The leading global bank has been a proud partner of the festival since inception.

Live Nation return for the third consecutive year as production partner.

For the fifth consecutive year, MSNBC & Comcast NBCUniversal will air a live simulcast of the Festival on MSNBC and MSNBC.com. The Festival broadcast will be produced by Emmy Award-winning producer Ken Ehrlich (Grammy Awards).

For the seventh consecutive year, iHeartMedia has been named the exclusive audio media partner and will broadcast live from Central Park on over 150 radio stations across the U.S. and streamed on the iHeartRadio app.

The Festival will also be livestreamed on YouTube and Twitter, presented by Johnson & Johnson.

Proud partners of the 2018 Global Citizen Festival include Global Citizen’s global health partner and major partner Johnson & Johnson,  and major partners P&G, CHIME FOR CHANGE Founded by Gucci, Verizon, House of Mandela, and NYC Parks.

Associate Partners include Microsoft, Great Big Story, and One Championship.

Global Citizens can earn their admission to the free-ticketed Festival by joining the movement at glblctzn.me/nyc2018 by downloading the Global Citizen app. Ticket draws will occur throughout the summer and fans will be notified by Global Citizen when they have been selected.

Specific goals for the 2018 Global Citizen Festival campaigns include:

  • Calling on Congress to resist the White House’s proposed cuts of 32% to American aid programs, which would devastate the fight against extreme poverty.
  • Calling on the G7 countries to contribute to the $2 billion needed to tackle the world’s maternal health crisis that sees more than 5 million mothers and children die of preventable conditions every year.
  • Ending the criminalization of poverty, through eliminating and drastically reducing the use of cash bail in jurisdictions including New York State.

Since the first Global Citizen Festival in New York in 2012, Global Citizen has grown into one of the largest, most visible platforms for people around the world calling on world leaders to honor their responsibilities in achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and ending extreme poverty by 2030.

Global Citizens have generated commitments and policy announcements from leaders valued at over $37.9 billion that are set to affect the lives of more than 2.25 billion people. This year alone Global Citizens have secured 29 commitments totaling over $2.9 billion that are set to affect the lives of more than 501 million  people by 2030.

 

2018 BET Awards: Nicki Minaj, Janelle Monae, Migos, H.E.R., Ella Mai announced as performers

May 26, 2018

BET Awards

The following is a press release from BET:

BET Networks, a unit of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIA.B sted NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), today announced the first group of performers set to take the stage at the “BET Awards” 2018. The iconic annual show will feature performances by some of music’s biggest stars including Nicki Minaj, Janelle Monáe, Migos, H.E.R., and Ella Mai. Now in its 18th year, the “BET Awards” continues to break boundaries for creating culturally relevant and brilliantly entertaining broadcasts. Hosted by Jamie Foxx, the “BET Awards” 2018 will air LIVE on Sunday, June 24 at 8 pm ET from the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles, CA on BET.

As previously announced, DJ Khaled dominates this year’s nominations with a total of 6 including ‘Video of the Year,’ two for ‘Best Collaboration,’ with Rihanna and Bryson Tiller for ‘Wild Thoughts,’ and with Jay-Z, Future and Beyoncé for ‘Top Off,’ ‘Album of the Year,’ and ‘Coca-Cola Viewers’ Choice.’ Kendrick Lamar follows with five nods including ‘Best Collaboration,’ with Rihanna for ‘Loyalty.,’ ‘Video of the Year,’ ‘Album of the Year,’ and ‘Coca-Cola Viewers’ Choice.’ Other leading nominees include Migos, nominated for four awards including ‘Best Group,’ and ‘Album of the Year,” and SZA, also nominated for four awards, including ‘Best Female R&B/Pop Artist’ and ‘Best New Artist.’

The “BET Awards” 2018 will premiere around the world on BET’s international networks. It will air in the UK on June 26th at 9:00PM BST, in Africa on June 26th at 8:00PM CAT, in France on June 26th at 9:00PM CEST and in South Korea on June 26th at 9:00PM KST. Internationally, fans in 100 countries can also stream the “BET Awards” 2018 live with BET Play, BET International’s subscription video on demand application. The iOS and Android app, which also features current and classic BET television series, documentaries, stand-up comedy and legendary musical performances, will carry a live feed of the red carpet and the Awards, and is available for download now in the iTunes and Google Play stores for $3.99 a month following a seven-day free trial.

Connie Orlando, Executive Vice-President, Head of Programming at BET will serve as Executive Producer for the “BET Awards” 2018 along with Jesse Collins, CEO of Jesse Collins Entertainment.

The “BET Awards” 2018 will take place along with the BET Experience at L.A. LIVE in Los Angeles from June 21-24, 2018. BET.com/betawards is the official site for the “BET Awards” and will have all the latest news and updates about this year’s show. VIP Packages for the sixth year of the BET Experience weekend are better than ever and now on-sale. In addition to VIP amenities throughout the weekend and incredible seats for STAPLES Center shows, all levels of BETX VIP Packages offer guests the only opportunity to purchase tickets to the highly-anticipated BET Awards, broadcast live from Microsoft Theater. Full package amenities and pricing for the Diamond, Platinum, Gold Plus and Gold VIP Packages can be found by visiting BETExperience.com or by calling (877) 234-8425.

General tickets for the BET Experience at L.A. LIVE presented by Coca-Cola® are on sale now at http://www.axs.com/betexperience.

ABOUT BET NETWORKS

BET Networks, a subsidiary of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIA.B), is the nation’s leading provider of quality entertainment, music, news and public affairs television programming for the African-American audience. The primary BET channel reaches more than 90 million households and can be seen in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom and sub-Saharan Africa. BET is the dominant African-American consumer brand with a diverse group of business extensions: BET.com, a leading Internet destination for Black entertainment, music, culture, and news; CENTRIC, a 24-hour entertainment network targeting the African-American Woman; BET Music Networks – BET Jams, BET Soul and BET Gospel; BET Home Entertainment; BET Live, BET’s growing festival business; BET Mobile, which provides ringtones, games and video content for wireless devices; and BET International, which operates BET around the globe.

ABOUT “BET AWARDS”

The “BET Awards” is one of the most watched awards shows on cable television according to the Nielsen Company. The “BET Awards” franchise remains as the #1 program in cable TV history among African-Americans, and it is BET’s #1 telecast every year. It recognizes the triumphs and successes of artists, entertainers, and athletes in a variety of categories.

ABOUT JESSE COLLINS ENTERTAINMENT

Jesse Collins Entertainment is a full-service television and film production company founded by entertainment industry veteran Jesse Collins. For more than a decade, Collins has played an integral role in producing some of television’s most memorable moments in music entertainment. Formerly Executive Producer/EVP of Cossette Productions, Collins has produced ground-breaking and award-winning television programming including the BET Awards, the GRAMMY Awards, Soul Train Awards, BET Honors, UNCF An Evening of Stars, ABFF Awards and the BET Hip Hop Awards. Collins is an executive producer of the hit TV series, Real Husbands of Hollywood starring Kevin Hart and the upcoming original miniseries based on the iconic music group New Edition that will debut on BET in 2017. He has worked with a myriad of superstar talent including Will Smith, Chris Rock, Jay-Z, Rihanna, Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, Drake, Prince and Mariah Carey. Follow Jesse Collins Entertainment @JesseCollinsEnt on Twitter and Instagram and go to http://www.jessecollinsent.com/ for more information on the company.

 

Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and ‘Hidden Figures’ team backstage at the 2017 Screen Actors Guild Awards

January 30, 2017

by Carla Hay

The 23rd Annual Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards took place on January 29, 2017, at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.

“HIDDEN FIGURES”

SAG Award win:

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture

Here is what these SAG Award winners said backstage in the SAG Awards press room.

The cast of "Hidden Figures" backstage at the 2017 Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles.
The cast of “Hidden Figures” backstage at the 2017 Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW

What is the role of the artist when it comes to helping society navigate change?

Taraji P. Henson: I think the major role of an artist is to use the art that God gave you to touch and change lives because he put us here. We all look different for reason because we’re here to get along and we have to figure it out so we better damn well figure it out because no one group is better than the other. We’re all humans here to get along and make this big world go around.

Our talents may be in the arts; there may be another talent in journalism. You have a voice. There are doctors that have a voice and have power, and that’s what we’re here to do. So I think that’s what this film represents, and there’s a reason why it was made now and not two years ago, not five years ago, not 10 years ago—because the universe needed it now.

Octavia Spencer: I would footnote that and only to say sometimes we need to provide a little escapism from the realities that we are currently existing in. And this movie, I was feeling a certain kind of way, and I realized that as an actress in this film representing people who were largely under represented that we could make a difference in a way. And I think the fact that we are that the movie is resonating at the box office is saying that people are hearing the message, and they’re feeling the message

Janelle Monáe: I copy and paste everything that the incredible Taraji and Octavia said. And I’m so honored and I feel so thankful to be a part of this cast. I think the colors of us, the nuances of us that all make us unique represent a shared humanity.

And I think this film reminds us that we’ve been through harder times, we’ve been through more difficult times and we got through it back then during the segregation era, and we can get through it now. We just have to remember, in the great words of Kevin Costner, “We all pee the same color.” We really do. We’re not that damn different.

Spencer: Well, if you eat a lot of beets …

Monáe: Right and I think that’s the great thing about America. We get to come here and be our authentically unique selves, and I think that if we continue to embrace the things that make us unique even if it makes others uncomfortable, we will continue to represent those who are oftentimes un-celebrated. And these women are finally hidden no more. So I dedicate my award to Ms. Mary Jackson, the first African-American female engineer at NASA.

Jim Parsons, you’ve got four Emmys and you’ve got a Golden Globe. This is your first-ever SAG Award. What does that mean to you?

Jim Parsons: Oh, this was really, really exciting. I teared up as soon as this happened. I think people can tell when they watch the movie this was an exceptional experience to be a part of in making this, and it was exceptional be on set with everybody. It’s been even exceptional doing press with everybody. Everyone came for the right reasons, and not that you don’t on most projects, but on something about this project in particular, the focus and dedication to telling this story the best and most honest way it could be told was a reverberating through everybody and it feels that same way when we’re together tonight months and months and months after we finished it. This was just exceptionally exciting. I’ll say that.

Octavia, is your Oscar a hidden figure in your house or is it out for everyone to see it?

Spencer: Oscar and the Hasty Pudding and all the wonderful awards that I’ve been given are all out for me to see. I don’t have a lot of people at my house and very seldom home. But I think what we’re going to do is we’re going have a pot luck. Everybody’s going to bring their Oscars, I mean their SAGS, and we’re just going to we’re go celebrate tonight. This is the best award to get the ensemble award because every person was integral to the filmmaking process. I think I want to pass this off to Kirsten Dunst since she hasn’t said anything

Kirsten Dunst: I’m so jet-lagged.

Henson: She’s jet-lagged, but she has things to say.

Dunst: Do I, guys? I don’t know. Does anyone have a question? Anybody? Anybody?

Your character in “Hidden Figures” had to say things that had to be almost embarrassing for you.

Dunst: [She says jokingly] I just pretended my character was very frustrated because she was in love with Octavia so I turned it on its head so but yes, it is very uncomfortable and Octavia was just like, “Just do it just do it, baby. Just do it.” I was, “I love you.”

Henson: We laughed a lot in between takes because you know the subject matter was so like whoa. And so it required us to when Ted [Melfi, director of “Hidden Figures”] yelled “cut” we went into jokes because you have to laugh to keep from crying. I don’t understand what it is to live in times like that you know we have agencies there was women we can say what’s on our minds we can snap our fingers or roll our neck.

But you know, back then, these women didn’t have these voices and what I admire most about them and it makes me think about me in the industry do not focus on the problems. Focus on the solutions. Wallowing in muck and talking about what the problem is not moving us anywhere, what are we going to do to get past this?

Then I think that’s why this film is so timely because we find ourselves—wow, interestingly enough, 1962 again almost, right? But the beautiful thing about where we are today in 2017 is the majority of humanity is on the right side of history, so we have to celebrate that. And fear not, because if you have faith, fear and faith cannot co-exist. You’ve got to choose your side pick your battles. I choose faith.

 

Barry Jenkins, Janelle Monáe and the ‘Moonlight’ team backstage at the 2017 Golden Globe Awards

January 9, 2017

by Carla Hay

The 74th annual Golden Globe Awards took place on January 8, 2017, at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California.

“MOONLIGHT”

Golden Globe win:

  • Best Motion Picture – Drama

Here is what these Golden Globe winners said backstage in the Golden Globe Awards press room.

"Moonlight" team at the 2017 Golden Globe Awards
“Moonlight” team at the 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, on January 8, 2017. (Photo by Robyn Beck/Getty Images)

BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW

What did it mean to you to be able to show Miami on screen?

Barry Jenkins (writer/director): It meant the world to me. You know, the whole the whole point of this film for Tarell Alvin McCraney, the playwright, and I was to tell a very truthful story about how we grew up. And so are going to Miami to make the film because this story I think not that is universally I think is very specific, to be honest, but we could have told the story in New Orleans you could’ve told in Atlanta, Georgia, where our budget would have gone much farther than did in Florida where there’s no tax incentives.

But Tarell and I are both from Miami, so the city—kind of cliché to say it—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 the experience what it’s like to grow up there. And then to have all these journalists from all over the world have taken this trip to Miami and award the film is proof positive that we did the right thing by sticking to our guns and shooting in Miami.

Janelle, this film deals with one of the toughest things that some people go through in this country on being young especially African-American coming out. Can you talk about performing on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” in place of Kim Burrell, whose performance was cancelled after her anti-gay speech?

Janelle Monáe: I’m pro-love. I’ve been very supportive of love. And at the end of the day, I think that no matter where you come from and who you love, you deserve to have a right to the American Dream and to also have your story told. So I’m so thankful to be part of this true American story.

I’m thankful to be a part of a cast and a director who is pro-inclusion. And I just think that anybody who is representing hate is a part of the problem and I hope we can learn from each other and be more empathetic of one another and I hope that we can all remember the end of the day we all bleed the same color.

Why do you think people are responding “Moonlight” the way they are?

Jenkins: For me, I’m all about process and the process of making this film going back to day one on set … was about making universal film. It was about getting it right and being very specific to where we were with what the actors were giving us on the day and trying to speak truth to power in that.

And so I think in doing that I think the movie touches people because they see the authenticity that we put into it we were trying to do anything but tell our story. I think people respect that because often you try to tell a story that you believe someone is going to be willing to pay to hear. That was not our goal.

Our goal was to just speak truth as to Tarell’s experience and my experience they can doing that you can go to Katmandu or I can say I’ve been to London or Rome or Toronto will Telluride, these places so far removed, or the HFPA, the Philippines, to Russia all these different places and people respect the fact that oh no I’m not trying to make a story that relates to you in your place here right now. I think we need more that as we move into the next four years of life on this planet.

Barry, you dedicated this award to your mother. Has she seen “Moonlight” yet?

Jenkins: I think she wants to watch it on the small screen, which as a filmmaker, like no, you see it in the theater as big as possible but I think she wants to make her peace with it, woman to screen. I think she wants to engage the story on one level not in a room like this with a bunch of—I’d say for her—strangers. I do think we’ve been talking a lot more and the conversation has accelerated. I will say Naomi has given all these interviews, every interview she gives my mom watches and it.

And she has seen I think the care and thoughtfulness that they will be put into betraying her and I do think she’s getting you know I can’t rush her bit-by-bit, but she’s a step closer to I think sitting down and watching and some version you know myself and Tarell’s depiction of herself.

Do you think movies can change things socially?

Jenkins: I see what you’re saying, but … people have seen this film three times, four times, not as escapism but for realism. They want to go to the cinema and see something real reflected in all these films. No one could have anticipated that we would be sitting on the president-elect that we have coming into office in the next 12, 13 days. However, we all made these films because we felt something was lacking in the soil at the root these stories that hadn’t been told.

I don’t know if it was that these two things are coming together at the same time but we’re here now you know and we have to keep telling these stories very truthfully and honestly. And we have to give people things not to escape to this room for escapism but things they can run to reaffirm that not that all lives matter, I don’t want to step into that, but that you know what if you’re feeling something that you want to speak it? You speak it and someone there will be there to hear your truth. And I think that’s been the spirit of “Moonlight” so far.

To the actors, how specifically did you acted against each other especially in the three different acts and how each relationship was different moving forward to the story?

Mahershala Ali (co-star): Let me just say that one thing that we didn’t do was act against each other we always acted with each other. And this is the greatest joy my career.

Ashton Sanders (co-star): I agree.

Trevante Rhodes (co-star): Yeah, it was really just about sharing the moment issue in the space with beautiful people and being able to listen and react. That’s all it was and just understanding situation and understand who the person was. And trusting this man right here [he points to Jenkins].

Ashton and Trevante, you weren’t allowed to see each other during filming “Moonlight.” How important was that for the overall effect and were you surprised actually to find continuation within the characters when you saw them on screen?

Rhodes: I think it was very important because me personally I would have done any and everything I could to try and at least a little bit mimic what the younger versions were going to try and force some similarity within myself. And I think just not having to focus on that and again trusting Barry, trusting the script, trusting my idea who the person was the most important thing and allowing me to be free and to just embody the character and just leave it at that. That’s where I’m at.

Sanders: Just to back up what Travonte was saying, I think it allowed us to focus on our sections and our circumstances within our sections. Chiron is a different person having three parts of the film, so it allowed us to again focus on our circumstances and to tap into that time period of Chiron.

Can tell us how difficult it was to find the producers for “Moonlight” and how many countries has the movie been sold?

Jenkins: A24 sold the movie to—and I’ll say ballpark—20 territories internationally, which is amazing for a film set in this world featuring these characters. I will say the myth has been propagated about what a film with a cast that looks like this in a story that’s set in this world where it can show where people come out and see it. This movie has defied—I won’t say expectations—but I think those perceptions.

I made a movie in 2008 called “Medicine for Melancholy”— a very small film, $15,000 budget. And the good folks at Plan B saw that film. We started talking; nothing came of it. I think I wasn’t ready at that point. And when I had the screenplay for “Moonlight” with my first producer, Adele Romanski, who I went to film school with, the cinematographer and both editors also went to film school with me at Florida State University, we sent the script to Plan B, and they read it and immediately they said that they wanted to get involved. They had seen the first film and thought, “What can this guy  do? Look at what these people do with a larger canvas.”

And then from Plan B, they take it to A24. A24 at that point only distributed films, not finance them, but they believed in our voice so much—I’ll say Tarell’s and my voice—that they literally opened a new lane, as the kids say. And they are in their business to finance the film. It was the first film financed by A24. From there it was just like an open door. It was like, “This is the budget here and the parameters. Go out and make the film you want to make.” It was a beautiful process.

They allowed me to do the things I wanted to do. And yet they asked questions and those questions always led to answers, but they allowed me to decide when the answer has been reached. So it was a beautiful process. I feel very fortunate very privileged to have made this film with Plan B, A24 and Adele Romanski. Thank you very much. Much love to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.