Here’s ‘Moonlight’ Director Barry Jenkins’ Entire Historic NBR Acceptance Speech

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Photo: David Bornfriend via Wikipedia

Barry Jenkins made history yesterday when he accepted the award for Best Director at the National Board of Review for Moonlight, becoming the first black person ever to do so. Jenkins has already won Best Director this year from the African American Film Critics Association, Alliance of Women Film Journalists (as well as for Best Adapted Screenplay), Austin Film Critics Association (in addition to Best Original Screenplay), the Black Film Critics Circle Awards (also for screenplay), the New York Film Critics Circle, the Satellite Award for Best Screenplay, and countless more, making him a serious contender for Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay Oscars – if he wins, he’ll be the first black winner of a Best Director Academy Award, and the third for Adapted Screenplay – he’d be the first for Original Screenplay, which Moonlight is sometimes considered, depending on the voters.

Read Jenkins’ full speech below.

I wasn’t going to say this, but shit, I’ve got to say it. So I know exactly where I was when I found out that I was going to receive this very prestigious honor from the National Board of Review. I was at a Q&A, and [publicist] Peggy Siegal ran in and said, “Oh my god, Barry Jenkins, you just won Best Director from the National Board of Review!” And she had this look on her face, and I was like, “Why does she look like that?” And then she said, “And you’re the first black director, the first black person to ever receive that distinction.” [Applause] I didn’t want to talk about this, but we’re here, so let’s talk about it. And so I wondered, “Why is that?” I looked through, this organization started in 1909, and I looked at all the names of best director. And they were all amazing names. And just like this year, we all have a choice, Kenneth Lonergan could be up here, Damian Chazelle could be up here, Pablo Larrain, Kelly Reichardt … There are so many people who made great work this year. You have a choice, and this year, you chose me. And in all those years, all those directors who were chosen made great films, but then I thought about it, and I said, “You know what? There were certain people who just weren’t considered. For so long, they were never considered. Until 2012, someone like Kathryn Bigelow had never been considered.”

So I want to thank you guys from the National Board of Review, for making this very kind gesture of considering me for this award, and bestowing it upon me. You know, the country is changing, the world is changing, and you know, we’re trying to make America great again. [Audience laughs] All I’m going to say is, I’m going to take this honor as a symbol of being considered. It’s a very considerable gesture of making America great again. And what I want to say is, I want to acknowledge this because as we make America great again, let’s remember some of the inconsiderable things in our legacy, because there was a time when somebody like me was not considered. Thank you very much.

Gotham Awards Noms Announced, ‘Manchester By The Sea’ Leads

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The nominations for the 2016 Gotham Awards, presented by the Independent Filmmaker Project, have been announced. The awards ceremony will take place Monday, November 28 and honor the best in indie filmmaking of the year.

Leading the pack with 4 noms is Kenneth Lonergan’s Manchester by the Sea, starring Casey Affleck and breakout star Lucas Hedges. The film picked up acting noms for both its respective leads, as well as for Best Feature and screenplay.

Moonlight, directed by Barry Jenkins, also is up for Best Feature, and picked up a special acting award (not nomination) for its entire cast.

Check out the entire list of noms:

Best Feature

Certain Women
Kelly Reichardt, director; Neil Kopp, Vincent Savino, Anish Savjani, producers (IFC Films)

Everybody Wants Some!!
Richard Linklater, director; Megan Ellison, Ginger Sledge, Richard Linklater, producers (Paramount Pictures)

Manchester by the Sea
Kenneth Lonergan, director; Kimberly Steward, Matt Damon, Chris Moore, Lauren Beck, Kevin J. Walsh, producers (Amazon Studios)

Moonlight
Barry Jenkins, director; Adele Romanski, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, producers (A24)

Paterson
Jim Jarmusch, director; Joshua Astrachan, Carter Logan, producers (Amazon Studios)

Best Documentary

Cameraperson
Kirsten Johnson, director; Marilyn Ness, producer (Janus Films)

I Am Not Your Negro
Raoul Peck, director; Rémi Grellety, Raoul Peck, Hébert Peck, producers (Magnolia Pictures)

O.J.: Made in America
Ezra Edelman, director; Caroline Waterlow, Ezra Edelman, Tamara Rosenberg, Nina Krstic, Deirdre Fenton, Erin Leyden, producers (ESPN Films)

Tower
Keith Maitland, director; Keith Maitland, Megan Gilbride, Susan Thomson, producers (Kino Lorber, Independent Lens)

Weiner
Josh Kriegman, Elyse Steinberg, directors and producers (Sundance Selects and Showtime Documentary Films)

Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award

Robert Eggers for The Witch (A24)

Anna Rose Holmer for The Fits (Oscilloscope Laboratories)

Daniel Kwan & Daniel Scheinert for Swiss Army Man (A24)

Trey Edward Shults for Krisha (A24)

Richard Tanne for Southside with You (Roadside Attractions and Miramax)

Best Screenplay

Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan (CBS Films)

Love & Friendship, Whit Stillman (Amazon Studios)

Manchester by the Sea, Kenneth Lonergan (Amazon Studios)

Moonlight, Story by Tarell Alvin McCraney; Screenplay by Barry Jenkins (A24)

Paterson, Jim Jarmusch (Amazon Studios)

Best Actor*

Casey Affleck in Manchester by the Sea (Amazon Studios)

Jeff Bridges in Hell or High Water (CBS Films)

Adam Driver in Paterson (Amazon Studios)

Joel Edgerton in Loving (Focus Features)

Craig Robinson in Morris from America (A24)

Best Actress*

Kate Beckinsale in Love & Friendship (Amazon Studios)

Annette Bening in 20th Century Women (A24)

Isabelle Huppert in Elle (Sony Pictures Classics)

Ruth Negga in Loving (Focus Features)

Natalie Portman in Jackie (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Breakthrough Actor*

Lily Gladstone in Certain Women (IFC Films)

Lucas Hedges in Manchester by the Sea (Amazon Studios)

Royalty Hightower in The Fits (Oscilloscope Laboratories)

Sasha Lane in American Honey (A24)

Anya Taylor-Joy in The Witch (A24)

* The 2016 Best Actor/Best Actress and Breakthrough Actor nominating panels also voted to award a special Gotham Jury Award for ensemble performance to Moonlight, “in which actors at all levels of experience give outstanding performances that speak eloquently to one another both within and across each chapter of the story.” The awards will go to actors Mahershala Ali, Naomie Harris, Alex Hibbert, André Holland, Jharrel Jerome, Janelle Monáe, Jaden Piner, Trevante Rhodes, and Ashton Sanders.

Breakthrough Series – Long Form

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Rachel Bloom & Aline Brosh McKenna, creators; Marc Webb, Rachel Bloom, Aline Brosh McKenna, Erin Ehrlich, executive producers (The CW)

The Girlfriend Experience, Lodge Kerrigan, Amy Seimetz, creators; Steven Soderbergh, Philip Fleischman, Amy Seimetz, Lodge Kerrigan, Jeff Cuban, Gary Marcus, executive producers (Starz)

Horace and Pete, Louis C.K., creator; M. Blair Breard, Dave Becky, Vernon Chatman, Dino Stamatopoulos, executive producers (louisck.net)

Marvel’s Jessica Jones, Melissa Rosenberg, creator; Melissa Rosenberg, Liz Friedman, Alan Fine, Stan Lee, Joe Quesada, Dan Buckley, Jim Chory, Jeph Loeb, Howard Klein, executive producers (Netflix)

Master of None, Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang, creators; Michael Schur, David Miner, Dave Becky, executive producers (Netflix)

Breakthrough Series – Short Form

The Gay and Wondrous Life of Caleb Gallo, Brian Jordan Alvarez, creator (YouTube)

Her Story, Jen Richards and Laura Zak, creators (herstoryshow.com)

The Movement, Darnell Moore, Host (Mic.com)

Sitting in Bathrooms with Trans People, Dylan Marron, creator (Seriously.TV)

Surviving, Reagan Gomez, creator (YouTube)