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It’s Moonlight‘s time to shine.

The critically-acclaimed film took home the prize for best adapted screenplay at the 89th annual Academy Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday.

“I told my students that I teach sometimes be in love with the process, not the result, but I really wanted this result because a bajillion people are watching,” said director Barry Jenkins, who penned the script along with playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney. “And all you people out there who feel like there’s no mirror for you, that your life is not reflected, the academy has your back, the ACLU has your back, we have your back, and over the next four years we will not leave you alone. We will not forget you.”

“I also want to say thank God for my mother, who proved to me through her struggles and the struggles that Naomie Harris portrayed for all of you that we can really be here and be somebody, two boys from Liberty City up here on this stage, representing the 305,” said McCraney. “This goes out to all those black and brown boys and girls and nongender-conforming [people] who don’t see themselves. We are trying to show you you and us. So thank you, thank you, this is for you.”

The film is an adaptation of McCraney’s play, In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue, which tells the three-part story of Chiron, a gay black man who grows up in Florida and attempts to come to terms with his masculine, racial, and sexual identity.

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Moonlight is up for a total of eight awards, including a best director nod for director Jenkins, and best supporting actor and actress nominations for Mahershala Ali (Luke Cage) and Naomie Harris (Skyfall), respectively. The film is also nominated for best picture.

Moonlight beat out Hidden Figures, Fences, Lion, and Arrival for the prize.

  • Movie
  • 110 minutes

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