Oscars 2017: 'Moonlight' 's Barry Jenkins Wins Best Adapted Screenplay

The 89th Annual Academy Awards, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, are airing live from Los Angeles on ABC

695240683TM00515_89th_Annua
Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty

It’s Moonlight‘s time to shine.

Director Barry Jenkins and original playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney, co-penned the critically acclaimed film, took home the prize for Best Adapted Screenplay at Sunday’s 89th annual Academy Awards in Los Angeles.

Jenkins said in his acceptance speech that he’ll keep fighting to better represent society in film.

“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. 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,” he said.

McCraney said that Moonlight represents the world where he grew up.

“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 305,” he said. “This goes out to all those black and brown boys and girls and non-gender conforming who don’t see themselves, we are trying to show you you and us. So thank you, thank you, this is for you.”

  • Watch the PEOPLE & EW Red Carpet Live Oscars pre-show on Feb. 26 at 5 p.m. ET/2 p.m. PT on the People/Entertainment Weekly Network (PEN). Go to PEOPLE.com/PEN, or download the app on your favorite device. Then watch our Red Carpet Fashion Wrap-Up after the Oscars!

This is Moonlight‘s second win of the night, after Mahershala Ali won for Best Supporting Actor.

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.

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 Ali and Harris, respectively. The film is also nominated for best picture.

RELATED VIDEO: Is An Oscar Really Worth Only $1?!

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

The 89th Annual Academy Awards, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, are airing live from Los Angeles on ABC.

Related Articles