“You take the baton and you carry it as far as you can and then, you hand it off.”
It doesn’t take the first trailer for Netflix’s original film, Barry, to underscore just how timely and revealing it is. But it certainly makes you want to see it.
Written and directed by Vikram Gandhi, it stars Devon Terrell as a young Barack Obama, known to his friends as Barry, who arrives in New York City in the fall of 1981 to begin his junior year at Columbia University. But Barry struggles to find his scene among the various social spheres of college, from cops stopping him in the streets to different social groups, not to mention his increasingly strained relationships with his Kansas-born mother and his estranged Kenyan father.
“You can fit in anywhere,” says one. “I fit in nowhere,” he replies.
The film, which was snapped up by the streaming service following its premiere in Toronto this year, will be released globally on Netflix on Friday 16th December – just in time for the real life Barry to hand off the baton to the next President.
Here’s the first full trailer for the film:
Netflix to release Barack Obama drama, Barry, in December
20th October 2016
Netflix will release its newly acquired Barack Obama drama, Barry, this December.
As the United States transitions from one presidency to the next, and a nation examines issues of diversity and acceptance, the film, which was picked up by the streaming giant at TIFF, is destined to resonate with viewers. Exploring a pivotal year in the life of the future 44th President of the United States, during which he developed the foundations for his views on race, government, and what it means to be American, the film was well received in Toronto where it screened in a Special Presentation.
Devon Terrell plays the young Obama, known to his friends as Barry, who arrives in New York City in the fall of 1981 to begin his junior year at Columbia University. In a crime-ridden and racially charged environment, Barry finds himself pulled between various social spheres and struggles to maintain a series of increasingly strained relationships with his Kansas-born mother, his estranged Kenyan father, and his classmates. Barry is the story of a young man grappling with those same issues that his country, and arguably the world, are still coming to terms with 35 years later.
Filmmaker Vikram Gandhi (HBO’s Vice), a Columbia University alumni, writes and directs, with Adam Mansbach (author of“Go the F**k to Sleep) helping to pen the script. The film’s supporting cast includes Ashley Judd, Jenna Elfman (Friends With Benefits, Big Stone Gap), Anya Taylor-Joy (The Witch), Jason Mitchell (Straight Outta Compton), Ellar Coltrane (Boyhood), and Avi Nash (Silicon Valley).
Barry was produced by Black Bear Pictures and Cinetic Media. Dana O’Keefe, Teddy Schwarzman, Ben Stillman, and Vikram Gandhi produced the film. Daniel Steinman executive produced.
It will be released globally on Netflix on Friday 16th December. Here’s a teaser:
Netflix goes back to college with Obama biopic Barry
18th September 2016
Netflix has acquired the rights to Barry, a film about Obama in his college days.
The film, directed by Vikram Gandhi, screened in a Special Presentation at Toronto International Film Festival last weekend, where it was reportedly well received.
It stars Devon Terrell as Barry, a 21-year-old who arrives at Columbia University in New York and finds himself struggling to fit into the college world and its different groups and factions. Focusing on his struggle with identity, the script charts the inner frustration of Barry in 1981 America, a country of purported diversity and acceptance.
Deadline reports that Netflix fought off several distributors to nab the worldwide rights for the film, which is a joint production between Black Bear Pictures and Cinetic Media.
Terrell may have been seen by some US audiences in the pilot for Steve McQueen’s Codes of Conduct, but HBO didn’t order that to series, which means that this is the first major role for the young actor. The film co-stars Anya Taylor-Joy (The Witch), Straight Outta Compton’s Jason Mitchell, Ashley Judd, Boyhood’s Ellar Coltrane and newcomer Avi Nash. It is written by Adam Mansbach.
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