History was made last night when Moonlight became the first LGBT+ themed movie to win best picture at the 2017 Academy Awards.
The film also marks a huge victory for diverse film-making, especially after 2016’s criticism surrounding the ‘whitewashed’ ceremony. Moonlight marks both the first LGBT movie and first black movie that isn’t about racism to secure the victory.
The small indie movie, made on a 1.5 million budget, scooped the top prize, as well as Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Supporting Actor for Mahershala Ali, who is the first Muslim actor to win an Oscar.
The coming of age movie follows a young black boy nicknamed ‘Little’, as he struggles to come to terms with his sexuality, whilst dealing with a drug addicted mother.
In his acceptance speech, director Barry Jenkins said:
“There was a time when I thought this movie was impossible, because I couldn’t bring it to fruition, I couldn’t bring myself to tell another story. And everybody behind me on this stage said ‘no, that’s not acceptable’.
“So I just want to thank everybody up here behind me, and everybody out there in the room, because we didn’t do this – you guys chose us. Thank you for the choice, I appreciate it. Much love.”
Moonlight‘s win also meant a win for smashing the glass ceiling too. Producer Dede Gardner earned her second statue for producing both Moonlight and previous Oscar winner 12 Years A Slave, making her the first female producer to have more than one Oscar.
The win for Moonlight was not without it’s controversy’s. After a mix-up with the result cards, presenters Warren Beaty and Faye Dunaway ended up mistakenly reading out La La Land as the Best Picture winner.
Producers rushed on stage after the cast and crew of La La Land, and it’s composer Justin Hurwitz revealed that Moonlight had actually won. Presenter Beaty had somehow been handed the Best Actress award, which went to Emma Stone for La La Land.
In a statement, PwC, who have overseen the ballot-counting process for the last 83 years, said:
“We sincerely apologise to Moonlight, La La Land, Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway and Oscar viewers for the error that was made during the award announcement for Best Picture.
“The presenters had mistakenly been given the wrong category envelope and when discovered, was immediately corrected. We are currently investigating how this could have happened, and deeply regret that this occurred.