How 'Moonlight' made Oscars history

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2016%2f09%2f16%2f8f%2fhttpsd2mhye01h4nj2n.cloudfront.netmediazgkymde1lza3.f09f1By Marcus Gilmer2017-02-27 17:09:20 UTC

Moonlight's big night at the Oscars was a historic night and not just for the stunning way in which the filmmakers found out they had won "Best Picture."

Rather, Moonlight broke new ground for Oscar winners, becoming both the first film featuring a completely non-white cast to win the Best Picture Oscar and the first film focused on an LGBTQ character to win Hollywood's top prize. 

The big night for Barry Jenkins' coming-of-age indie drama came the day after Moonlight swept through the Independent Spirit Awards, winning all six categories it was nominated in.  

Barry Jenkins celebrates a huge Oscars win

Barry Jenkins celebrates a huge Oscars win

Image: H. Walker/REX/Shutterstock

But Moonlight's Oscars success goes beyond just that one award. The film received the first Oscar handed out on the night when Mahershala Ali brought home the award for Best Supporting Actor. 

And while Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney weren't the first African-Americans to win a Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar (John Ridley for Twelve Years A Slave and Geoffrey Fletcher for Precious preceded them), Jenkins is the first African-American to be nominated for best adapted screenplay, best director, and best picture in the same year.

Tarell Alvin McCraney (left) and Barry Jenkins (right) hoist their Oscar gold

Tarell Alvin McCraney (left) and Barry Jenkins (right) hoist their Oscar gold

Image: Lovekin/WWD/REX/Shutterstock

And the film's co-editor, Joi McMillon, is the first African-American woman to receive an Academy Award nomination for film editing. (The film editing award went to Hacksaw Ridge.)

All told, Moonlight won three of the eight Oscars the film was nominated for, a successful night by any standard, but an even more special one given the circumstances. 

Topics: barry jenkins, Entertainment, Movies, moonlight, oscars 2017


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