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Last night, the 23rd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards were given away last night and A24’s Moonlight received “Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role” for Mahershala Ali out of three nominations.
Ali, who plays “Juan,” a drug dealer who becomes a father figure for young Chiron in ‘Moonlight,’ gave an emotional acceptance speech about his conversion to Islam and humanity.
“I think what I have learned from working on Moonlight, you see what happens in persecution,” he said. “What I was so grateful about and having the opportunity was playing a gentleman who saw a young man folding into himself as a result of the persecution of his community, and taking that opportunity to uplift him and tell him he mattered, that he was OK. And accept him. I hope that we do a better job of that.”
Written and directed by Jenkins, Moonlight is the only release of 2016 that has topped over 300 Top 10 Lists praised by writers and critics nationwide. In addition to taking home “Best Motion Picture – Drama” at the Golden Globes earlier this month, Moonlight has earned eight Academy Awards, six NAACP Image Award nominations, a Critics’ Choice Award, four Gotham Awards including “Best Picture,” a National Board of Review Award and many more.

Fans can view a detailed scrapbook and testament to the film’s impact at http://moonlight.movie/. Moonlight is in theaters everywhere.

Check out Mahershala speech below:

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