A young Barack Obama (Devon Terrell), known to his friends as “Barry,” 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.
BARRY stars newcomer Devon Terrell in a deeply felt breakout performance as the young student, and features a strong supporting cast including Ashley Judd (DIVERGENT, DOUBLE JEOPARDY), Jenna Elfman (FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS, BIG STONE GAP), and up-and-comers Anya Taylor-Joy (TTHE WITCH), Jason Mitchell (STRAIGHT OUT OF COMPTON), Ellar Coltraine (BOYHOOD), and Avi Nash (LEARNING TO DRIVE, “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.
Vikram Gandhi is an award-winning director and producer of fiction and non-fiction films. His first feature KUMARÉ in which he impersonated a religious leader and created a following of real people, won the Audience Award for Best Documentary at SXSW 2011, which later went on to receiving a theatrical release by Kino Lorber. Vikram is a regular Producer and Correspondent on the Emmy-winning series VICE on HBO reporting on such stories as climate change to terrorism to surveillance. He also directs and produces commercials, branded content, and films through his New York-based production company Prophets. BARRY is Vikram’s first narrative feature film.
Vikram Gandhi, a Columbia University alumni, was inspired to tell the story of Barack Obama’s time at the university and direct this narrative feature. Gandhi approached fellow alum Adam Mansbach (author of “Go the F**k to Sleep”) to help tell that story, and from that collaboration Mansbach penned the script, which has now been nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Original Screenplay.