Barry Jenkins, the masterful director behind the Academy Award-winning Moonlight and Academy Award-nominated If Beale Street Could Talk, is teaming back up with A24 for an all-new feature, directed by Raven Jackson.
According to Deadline, All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt marks the first time since Moonlight that A24 and Jenkins’ production banner Pastel will be working side-by-side to produce a project. Exact details on the plot are scarce but the film will reportedly chronicle decades in the life of a Black woman in rural Tennessee. (If I’m honest though, they had me at Barry Jenkins. It doesn’t matter what the plot is because I know it’s gonna be good—sign me up expeditiously!)
While she has a few short films under her belt (Nettles and A Guide to Breathing Underwater are both streaming on the Criterion Channel), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt marks Jackson’s feature directorial debut. Back in the spring of 2020, Variety reported that All Dirt Roads of Salt was selected as one of 43 projects for the Tribeca Film Institute Network, which hosted promising filmmakers and creators from across the globe for a day of pitch prep and industry roundtables.
Jackson’s past work has been featured in various publications and platforms such as The New York Times, TriQuarterly, CALYX, Kweli, Phantom Limb, and PANK.
Additionally, Jenkins’ upcoming limited series The Underground Railroad has finally received a premiere date, The Root has learned via press release. Amazon Prime Video announced today that the 10-episode series is set to premiere on May 14. Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Colson Whitehead, The Underground Railroad follows:
Cora Randall’s desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. After escaping a Georgia plantation for the rumored Underground Railroad, Cora discovers no mere metaphor, but an actual railroad full of engineers and conductors, and a secret network of tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil.
Over the course of her journey, Cora is pursued by Ridgeway, a bounty hunter who is fixated on bringing her back to the plantation she escaped; especially since her mother Mabel is the only one he has never caught. As she travels from state to state, Cora contends with the legacy of the mother that left her behind and her own struggles to realize a life she never thought was possible.
The series stars Thuso Mbedu, Chase W. Dillon and Joel Edgerton, Aaron Pierre, William Jackson Harper, Sheila Atim, Amber Gray, Peter De Jersey, Chukwudi Iwuji, Damon Herriman, Lily Rabe, Irone Singleton, Mychal-Bella Bowman, Marcus “MJ” Gladney, Jr., Will Poulter and Peter Mullan.
Jenkins serves as showrunner, director, and executive producer alongside Adele Romanski, Brad Pitt, Colson Whitehead, Dede Gardner, Jacqueline Hoyt, Jeremy Kleiner, Mark Ceryak, and Richard Heus. The Underground Railroad comes from Pitt’s Plan B, Pastel and Big Indie with Amazon Studios.
Production for All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt is expected to begin later this year.