Janelle Monae, Naomie Harris, Alex R. Hibbert, Ashton Sanders, and Mahershala Ali accept Best Acting Ensemble for 'Moonlight' onstage during the The 22nd Annual Critics' Choice Awards at Barker Hangar on December 11, 2016 in Santa Monica, California. (Pho

Moonlight

release date 10/21/16
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December 12, 2016 at 01:43 AM EST

The star-studded cast of Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight has won the Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Acting Ensemble. 

Mahershala Ali, who plays a drug dealer who takes the film’s central character, Chiron, under his wing in the wake of his mother’s drug-abusing ways, accepted the award on the cast’s behalf at Sunday’s Critics’ Choice Awards ceremony in Los Angeles. 

“We sincerely appreciate this. To recognize our work is really recognizing the work of Yesi Ramirez, our casting director, and Barry Jenkins,” Ali said as castmates Janelle Monáe, Naomie Harris, Ashton Sanders, and Alex Hibbert stood behind him. “Yesi was tasked with having to cast two characters with six different actors, and they had to seamlessly fit together over the course of 17 years, and so we really just want to recognize her.” 

As Jenkins watched from the crowd, Ali continued: “It’s just really been an amazing experience, just a wonderful journey, and thank you for recognizing our work. I appreciate it.” 

Moonlight was nominated for 10 total Critics’ Choice Awards, and the Acting Ensemble honor is its first win of the evening. 

Watch Ali’s acceptance speech above. Check out a full list of Critics’ Choice Award winners here

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release date
10/21/16
runtime
110 minutes
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